It’s no secret that in Florida, many real estate agents are taught that there is no need to involve a real estate lawyer. Sometimes real estate agents and real estate lawyers are at odds during the purchase or sale of a property. Agents want to close the deal as quickly as possible without complications, while lawyers often highlight issues that may never come to light and as a result can slow down the process to ensure that all the terms of the contract for sale are met.
The two sides don’t necessarily have to be at odds with each other. For example, the Residential Contract for Sale or Purchase, approved by the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Association, is a 35-page, single-spaced document in 10-point type. The document provides plenty of opportunity for error by both parties that can potentially derail the entire transaction. The contract also has several boxes that can be checked that may be more beneficial depending on whether you are a seller or buyer. Therefore, it is important for agents and lawyers to work together on the document in order to broker the best deal for both sides. There is an adage that says the there is no such thing as a form contract and for the most part it’s true. The FAR/BAR contract does its best to address as many issues as possible that both realtors and lawyers are concerned about, but the form can’t address every situation. Working with the right lawyer can be highly beneficial to getting the deal done. Most real estate lawyers consider themselves deal makers rather than deal breakers and since many are also licensed title agents the cost to have a lawyer involved in the transaction doesn’t typically cost anything additional to the buyer.
There are a multitude of other ways that real estate lawyers can help agents:
- Decipher the often-confusing legalese that pervades boilerplate agreements.
- Distill legal concepts into easy-to-understand soundbites for the agents’ clients.
- Explain Florida’s multitude of complex tax abatements and exemptions.
- Address all title issues and make sure title is transferred free of any liens
- Keep abreast of town, county and state ordinances, regulations and legislation that directly affect both the agents and the purchasers or sellers.
- Help with landlord/tenant issues, in the event—or in advance of – conflicts.
Contact us and see how an experienced real estate lawyer can be a useful asset and help you close the deal.