Buying or selling a home in Georgia can be a complicated process, and many take a do-it-yourself approach in the hope of keeping costs low or making more money on the sale. However, real estate attorneys protect their clients’ rights and can actually save them money in the end.
Georgia is one of a few states that do not have title companies, and attorneys assume that role in conducting closings between buyers and sellers. But beyond that, real estate lawyers can help you avoid potentially costly problems with the property that can end up costing you more in the long run.
Crucial services provided by your lawyer
Real estate attorneys oversee the legal work involved in the home buying or selling process at all stages, including:
- Contract preparation and review: While many people negotiate on their own or through their real estate agent, attorneys act on your behalf to make sure the contract meets all the requirements of state and local laws and addresses any issues that could affect the future use of the property.
- Title searches: This vital service ensures the property is free of any outstanding obligations, such as a lien or legal judgment and that the owner has the right to sell the property. If any problems arise, your attorney can advise you on how to proceed.
- Property transfers: Negotiations can be complicated if one or more parties to the sale are corporations, trusts or partnerships. An attorney understands how different types of business arrangements affect the sale under Georgia law.
- Tax sale foreclosures: Courts can order local, state or federal governments to attach tax liens to foreclosed properties over non-payment of taxes. If you purchase one of these parcels, your attorney will help you get a clean title.
- Conduct closings: Real estate lawyers are dedicated to providing stress-free closings for a variety of methods, including financing a property through lenders, cash transactions and refinancing a mortgage through a bank or other lender.
Seek knowledgeable legal advice
While Georgia law stipulates that you must go through an attorney to close the sale of any property, it’s in your best interest to choose a lawyer who understands the complexities of real estate transactions. An experienced attorney makes sure your interests are protected and that the sale meets all state and local requirements.