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If you are planning to buy a property, you may be wondering whether you need a real estate attorney. The fact is: a sale can be done without the assistance of an attorney, but you will not be under the same level of protection and you may sign things that do not work in your favour.

Here we tell you why it is advisable to rely on a real estate attorney and how this can help you.

Because the good life also involves understanding the small print.

Real estate attorneys. What is their role?

Real estate attorneys specialise in the procedures and legal aspects related to the purchase, sale and rental of real estate assets. Consequently, they have the experience and knowledge to advise both buyers and sellers. And, where financing is involved, they can also represent the lender.

The assistance of a real estate attorney is always advisable. As careful as one might be about the transaction, there are many documents and aspects to take into account, and it is possible that something important may be overlooked.

Real Estate Attorneys

Most importantly, keep this advice in mind: if possible, choose an independent attorney who is not professionally linked to the selling party, and preferably try to get someone who can provide you with references and show you their qualifications.

Sonneil recommends that you use the services of a real estate attorney through RICS. RICS is the most trusted independent body for the international real estate industry, and has many experienced attorneys working with them.

How much does a real estate attorney charge?

The usual price range for their services is between 1,500 and 3,000 euros, but fees vary depending on the services provided, the value of the property and any complexities involved in the purchase of the property.

However, fees will unlikely be less than 1% – 1.5% of the value of the property, excluding VAT.

How can a real estate attorney help you?

There are many procedures that a real estate attorney can help you with. These are some of the most common ones:

Negotiation

Most buyers negotiate directly with the seller, especially when buying a second-hand property. However, in order for the terms of the deal to be legally binding, they must be properly recorded in a contract.

A real estate attorney can negotiate on your behalf, advise you on the terms of the negotiation, ensure that the final contract complies with the law and add clauses that may be beneficial to you.

Real Estate Attorneys

Understand what you are signing

You will have to read and sign many documents, all with small print. Remember that you are buying an asset of great importance and value! Thus it is essential that you understand the rights and duties that come with what you are signing.

From the earnest money contract to the purchase agreement and any other agreement, an attorney will make sure that everything is clear to you and that you know exactly what you are committing yourself to when you sign.

Mortgage

If you need financing to buy your home, your real estate attorney will clarify any questions you may have about the terms of your mortgage. Your attorney will make sure that there are no unfair contract terms and that you are fully informed about what it means to acquire this debt with a financial entity.

You will also have an appointment with a notary. He/she will make sure that you understand what you are signing and that the agreement complies with the law.

Legal and economic situation of the property

Particularly in the case of second-hand properties, buyers worry that the property may have some encumbrances. In other words, that there may be taxes to be paid– such as the IBI or local property tax-, liens or court rulings against the property. Make sure that you acquire the property free of any encumbrances.

In this regard, a real estate attorney can request a report from the Land Registry.  This document certifies the encumbrances weighing on the property, and also includes a description and the ownership of the property.

Real Estate Attorneys

If the property is in a residential development, you can also check if the seller is up to date with the community fees.

Additionally, if any problems arise in relation to the debts of the property, the real estate attorney can advise you on how to proceed, negotiate a price reduction, etc.

Now that you know what a real estate attorney can do for you, you will surely appreciate the value of their services even more. If you need an expert to advise you on buying a property, at Sonneil we have experience in these cases and we can help you.

So that you can live the good life with no worries.