Real estate professionals have to take special courses and then pass a state test to obtain a license. They also have to meet certain professional and ethical standards to join national and local professional associations. Real estate agents dedicate their professional lives to helping individuals and businesses make smart real property decisions and navigate the complexities of real estate transactions.
With that said, agents are often somewhat familiar with real estate law, which can sometimes result in a false sense of confidence. There are numerous reasons why educated and experienced professionals who help others to handle real estate transactions benefit from legal support themselves.
1. Drafting or reviewing offers and closing documents
From the contingencies integrated into an initial offer to the counteroffer submitted by the seller, there will likely be custom paperwork involved in any major real estate transaction. Most agents recognize that the terms in a contract can make or break a deal.
Professionals who have been through a few closings likely understand the main components of an offer. However, they may still require professional help to evaluate individual contracts or to achieve the intended effect when putting together documents for a client. The assistance of a lawyer is often crucial when trying to create bespoke documents or responding to a lengthy proposal from the seller or buyer.
2. Legal advice and support for challenges
Real estate issues are incredibly stressful for the buyer, the seller and their respective agents. Frequently, people want resolutions as fast as possible. Perhaps the buyer wants to cancel the closing, so now the seller wants to retain the earnest money. The time required to shop around for an attorney could lead to client dissatisfaction or possibly pressure to accept an unfavorable solution to a conflict.
When an agent already has a pre-existing relationship with a lawyer, they can quickly and effectively communicate with a legal professional that they trust about any issues that arise. They know they can get appropriate guidance quickly and that they won’t disappoint their clients by leaving them hanging for days as an issue threatens to derail a closing.
Real estate agents often only realize the value of having legal representation after they have some sort of conflict with a client. Having appropriate legal guidance readily available can allow a real estate professional to offer a higher standard of service for their clients.