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November 17, 2020

Do I need a lawyer to purchase residential real estate?

Do I need a lawyer to purchase residential real estate?

florida real estate law

Closing A Purchase and Sale of Real Estate

Closing a purchase and sale of real estate can be quite the complicated process, particularly if there is a mortgage involved. The typical sale of real estate may require preparation of numerous documents, home inspections, title insurance and more. While many states require the use of an attorney for real estate purchase or sale, Florida is not one of those states. In fact, many residential real estate transactions are completed by negotiations between the buyer and seller via their respective real estate agents. However, hiring an attorney may help expedite the process and protect the real estate by having an attorney review all closing documents and ensuring that both parties comply with all contractual deadlines.   

Purchase and Sale Contract

Every residential real estate transaction in Florida begins with the Purchase and Sale Contract. This contract controls all aspects of the real estate transaction, including the price, easements, covenants or restrictions, defects in the property and the important dates for each phase of the transaction. Florida realtors generally have the ability and experience to draft a real estate contract, but they are prohibited from providing any legal advice to either party regarding the consequences or outcomes of any given contract or negotiation. In Florida, only licensed attorneys are allowed to provide such legal services. In addition to providing legal advice, a Florida real estate attorney may often act as an escrow agent for the buyer’s earnest money deposits. 

Although it is not required to hire a real estate attorney for the purchase and sale of residential real estate, a successful real estate transaction is more than mere documents and both buyer and seller may encounter a number of hiccups along the way. If you intend to purchase or sell residential real estate in Florida, it is wise to speak with a Florida real estate attorney to ensure that your rights are protected, and you are well informed in the process.