A lawyer can walk you through the difference between a quitclaim deed and a warranty deed–which has nothing to do with guaranteeing the water heater works. Your lawyer will help you make sure that the seller actually owns the property; this is called the “chain of title.” Your lawyer can also resolve property issues for you. For example, if your grandparents left a house to you, the lawyer will help you prove your ownership.
At Linn Legal, we also help clients with creative solutions for buying and selling property. You may have heard of a land contract, a lease with an option, or seller financing–and if you haven’t heard of them, your lawyer will explain the correct one for your situation. These ways of paying for property are useful for people in a variety of situations, from selling to a family member at a sweetheart rate, to spreading taxes over years to pay less.
Do you need a real estate lawyer?
As a real estate law firm, we are admittedly biased when we say yes! You may have a real estate agent, who helps you find or market property. They use form contracts, but those have limitations and may not say what you want the document to say. If you or the other person are doing the slightest thing out of the ordinary, you should have a lawyer write the custom language in the contract to make sure that it really says what you plan for it to say.
Real estate law
Real estate law is an ancient practice, going back to Medieval England, when a seller would symbolically hand a clod of dirt to the buyer to signify transferring the property. We don’t hand over dirt any more (deeds are much cleaner, after all), but the traditions and rules of property law remain.
At Linn Legal, we take property law into the 21st century with technology-focused solutions. This means that clients spend less time in the lawyer’s office, less money on their bill, and get their solutions faster. We research and record deeds digitally, set video calls instead of making you come into the office, and accept payments online. Even signing and notarization can be done online, which saves you from having to find a notary or pay expensive overnighting fees.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate lawyer?
An agent’s main job is marketing; they will find a property for you to buy or find sellers for you. An agent will visit properties with you and prepare comps for establishing a reasonable offering price. If you are selling, then an agent will list your property online, take photos, reach out to other agents, and get your property sold.
A real estate attorney will help you negotiate the terms of the deal. Attorneys are the only people legally allowed to negotiate your sale and write your contract terms. You may decide that you’ll only buy the property if the seller tears down a fence or changes their zoning. The seller may need a few weeks after the closing to move out because they are winding down their business or waiting on their home purchase to close. Lawyers have specialized training in writing these contracts. We take classes in law school and are tested by the State of Ohio on the bar exam to prove our knowledge.
Practically speaking, lawyers also get called in to clean up messes when good deals go bad. Long after the agent has moved on and problems emerge, the lawyers come in to fix issues. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and hiring an experienced real estate lawyer is a cost-effective way of making sure that unforeseen problems never arise.
If the buyer and the seller know each other, then they can often skip the marketing services of an agent and work directly with an attorney to sell property. This is sometimes called FSBO, or “For Sale By Owner.” At Linn Legal, we can represent your entire transaction, from the sale contract up through closing. We can do it at much lower rates than an agent will charge, so it is worth calling to get a quote on a full service if you already know who you will buy or sell from. Be aware, though, that if you have signed a contract with an agent to buy or sell a property, then you are bound by that contract and you may be obligated to pay a commission if you find a buyer or seller before the contract expires.
For commercial real estate, such as for rental properties, a lawyer is an excellent business investment. We help clients save taxes and close on time. We help you understand the property you’re buying, from easements on the land to the existing leases for tenants. The very first thing to look at with a commercial property that is being rented, before you ever sign a contract to purchase, is the existing leases. If you do not know the terms of those leases, you may be stuck with problem tenants for many years. One client was about to sign their contract until we pointed out that the commercial space that she wanted, a first-floor retail spot, was being used to warehouse construction material. That lease would last for another three years. She wisely walked away instead of buying a property that would not meet her reason for buying it.
A real estate lawyer is a cheap investment for any commercial purchase. A building is one of the biggest investments that a person or business will ever make. It means new potential growth and income, space to expand, and an asset that can be cashed in later down the road. At Linn Legal, we can help you close on properties, sell for the top rates, and avoid scams and time-wasters.
When you are ready to buy or sell real estate, give us a call.
They are very thorough and absolutely wonderful to talk to. Very responsive and made sure that I clearly understood my options. Shakespeare was wrong about at least one attorney! 5.0/5.0
Doug Linn has been my primary attorney for a number of years. He's handled matters ranging from document review, legal strategy, and litigation, and each time we've had a successful and satisfactory outcome. The best thing about working with LinnLegal is you're not overcharged for quick questions, a brief phone call, or a follow-up e-mail. That's meaningful when you're trying to work through something and you want to ask your attorney for advice. I highly recommend LinnLegal.
I hired LinnLegal to help look over and negotiate an important business contract. Doug did an excellent job of looking over everything carefully and he pointed out several potential pitfalls of the original contract wording. He did a great job of reviewing everything in a timely manner, and he was extremely reasonable with his time estimates and his budgeting. Doug's expertise and professionalism ensured everything went smoothly. I had great peace of mind knowing that Doug was representing my interests well, and I highly recommend him and his firm.
Contact Us For Legal Help
We invite you to call Linn Legal for real estate, business transactions, and estate planning needs. Please bear in mind that the firm does not represent clients in lawsuits, because our goal is to keep you out of the courtroom in the first place.