Real Estate Lawyer

Real Estate Lawyer: All Important Things You Need To Know

Having an expert lawyer on hand can prevent you from breaching the law accidentally or doing anything that will cause your real estate transaction to be delayed. We'll explain what a real estate lawyer does if you don't know what they do.

December 25, 2021

A skilled real estate lawyer may be a knowledgeable guide to help you with your legal transactions, documentation, and insurance if you’re a first-time home buyer, or in the current challenging real estate market in the United States, you may be looking for a second or third home.

The duty of a real estate lawyer is to guarantee that property is legally transferred from seller to buyer. These lawyers are in charge of document preparation and review, as well as ensuring that the title is clear and facilitating the transfer of cash. The particular responsibilities of a real estate lawyer may differ based on whether you, the seller, or the lender engage them, as well as what your state laws demand and what you need to make your property acquisition go successfully.

Learn what a real estate lawyer can do for you in this article by RealEstate-Prep!

Real Estate Lawyer

What Is A Real Estate Lawyer?

A real estate lawyer is someone whose role is to be familiar with the rules and regulations that govern real estate transactions. Real estate lawyers assist clients in comprehending contracts and other legal paperwork. They deal with zoning concerns and mortgage fraud, negotiate on behalf of their clients, supervise deed and title transfers, and look into whether a company or residential property has a debt, restrictive covenant, or other legal issues.

Individuals and organizations can deal with real estate attorneys. What you’re seeking to do will ultimately determine whether or not you’ll need one.

Read more: Real Estate Attorney | All Important Things You Need To Know 

What Does A Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Real estate attorneys handle transactions involving “real property”. Real property and real estate are two terms that are used interchangeably to describe the land and permanent constructions that are set in place.

Purchasing real estate does not need to go to court for the majority of house buyers. A real estate lawyer, on the other hand, may create or review all of the documents related to your home purchase, including the contract, any additional agreements you may have signed with the seller, lender documentation, and title and transfer documents. If you hire a real estate lawyer, he or she may also be present at the closing, either remotely or physically.

Real estate attorneys may also manage other parts of the house purchase, such as title searches and title insurance, to ensure that there are no outstanding claims or liens against the property. They may also function as a third party to facilitate the transaction by providing evidence of the cash transfer to the seller and your lender.

Of course, if a situation emerges that might cause the transaction to be delayed, a real estate lawyer can assist.

Real Estate Lawyer

What Is The Difference Between A Real Estate Agent And A Real Estate Lawyer?

Real estate lawyers and real estate agents may appear to be identical at first look, but their roles and duties in acquisitions and sales are distinct.

When it comes to a pending significant property deal, real estate agents and lawyers can both provide helpful but quite different services.

A real estate agent can guide you through the complex home-buying process. They are in charge of all document work from sales contracts to many other important documents. Moreover, they are also responsible for housing inspections, and negotiations, as well as making sure that everything goes well. 

If you have the intention to or are in the process of selling your home, a real estate agent can help by finding the right buyer for your house. They will help with the planning and execution of open houses, of course!

They will also assist you in moving quickly to your new home if you are migrating. However, it is worth mentioning that the obligations of real estate agents vary depending on where you live.

If you migrate, then they will assist you in moving quickly to your new home-sweet-home. But, the location where you live may affect the responsibilities of the real taste agent. 

Agents are in charge of these real estate paperwork and transactions, but the real estate lawyer will record and assess them.

If you have any questions regarding the title, the selling contract, or the insurance, you should speak with your lawyer. A real estate lawyer can also defend their clients in court and act as a litigator on their behalf if a real estate transaction goes bad in addition to providing legal counsel.

How Much Do Real Estate Lawyers Make?

The average income of real estate lawyers in the United States is $153,622 (updated on November 29, 2021), while this wage range is typically between $133,961 and $170,209. Salary ranges rely on a variety of things, including education, certifications, specialized skills, and the number of years you’ve worked in your field.

When the economy is down and the housing market is down, the need for real estate lawyers drops as well. To adapt, real estate firms may hire fewer attorneys and instead recruit paralegals and accountants to do the same jobs. A desire to relocate might lead to greater work possibilities. Relocation does, however, necessitate taking the bar test in a different state.

Commercial real estate professionals, like environmental lawyers and full-time litigators, frequently work for huge businesses. Other real estate lawyers work in the government sector, where they apply their expertise to municipal and county zoning and construction departments. Others may work for corporations, banking or lending organizations, real estate development firms, or title firms. Residential real estate transactions are often the focus of real estate lawyers who work alone or in small companies.

Real Estate Lawyer

Should You Hire A Real Estate Lawyer When Buying A Home?

Your decision to engage a real estate attorney will most certainly be influenced by where you want to buy property in the United States. States differ in their definitions of “practice of law,” thus what a real estate agent or notary can handle in one state may require a lawyer in another.

  • In certain places, such as Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, state law mandates that you hire a real estate lawyer to handle certain aspects of the transaction.
  • In several places, such as Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota, state law mandates that a title opinion be provided by a lawyer. This opinion indicates that a lawyer has gone over the title abstractor examination and found no problems with the real estate transaction.
  • Even though real estate lawyers aren’t needed in your state, you might want to hire one if you’re dealing with a more complicated acquisition, such as a short sale, or if there’s a problem, such as a neighboring structure crossing the property line.

Your mortgage lender may necessitate the involvement of a real estate attorney in specific instances. Because the lawyer isn’t representing you as a buyer, you may be exempt from paying legal costs.

If your state requires a closing attorney, keep in mind that, despite the fact that you hired and paid for them, they are regarded as neutral parties whose only goal is to finish the deal.

Tip: If you hire a real estate lawyer as your advocate, they will exclusively represent your interests. If the attorney is representing your lender or as a closing attorney (in which case they are representing everyone’s interest in concluding the deal), you may choose to hire your own counsel.

How Much Does A Real Estate Lawyer Cost?

The cost of a real estate lawyer varies based on the services you want and how they choose to bill you. The lawyer may charge a fixed fee or an hourly fee for a certain set of services (such as analyzing the title abstract and issuing a title opinion).

Lawyer expenses for real estate transactions are usually included in the closing costs. Because it isn’t a defined cost, it will appear on your loan estimate sheet under “services you may shop for.” Depending on the lawyer you hire and your legal needs, the estimate provided in the loan estimate may fluctuate.

Read about other real estate jobs in Top 20 Ideal Real Estate Jobs.

Unless your state requires it, you may be able to buy or sell your home without the assistance of a lawyer. However, failing to consult with a real estate lawyer might expose you to a variety of problems and litigation. Talking to your real estate agent and broker about your worries might help you figure out the best course of action for your specific case. Getting experienced help is the best way to go if you want peace of mind and legal protection.


When do I need to hire a real estate lawyer?

It is advisable to hire a real estate lawyer when buying or selling property, refinancing, dealing with zoning or land use issues, facing foreclosure, or encountering disputes related to real estate transactions. Their expertise ensures legal protection and smooth transactions.

How can a real estate lawyer assist with property transactions?

A real estate lawyer can draft or review purchase agreements, negotiate terms, examine property titles for potential issues, facilitate the closing process, handle escrow arrangements, and provide legal advice throughout the transaction to protect your interests.

What role does a real estate lawyer play in resolving disputes?

If disputes arise, a real estate lawyer can represent clients in litigation or alternative dispute resolution methods. They can handle issues related to contracts, boundaries, easements, landlord-tenant conflicts, construction defects, or other legal matters affecting real estate.

How do I choose a reliable real estate lawyer?

To find a reliable real estate lawyer, consider their experience in real estate law, client reviews, and their track record in handling similar cases. It’s important to assess their communication skills, responsiveness, and fees to ensure a good fit for your specific needs.

What are the potential benefits of hiring a real estate lawyer?

Hiring a real estate lawyer provides peace of mind, as they can identify potential legal pitfalls, protect your rights, and ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. Their expertise can save you time, money, and potential legal complications in the long run.


If you wish to take a Real Estate license deserving for your career, you could take our Real Estate practice exam to gain the knowledge and skills needed to pass your exam with a high score.