If you’re looking to buy a residential or commercial property, congratulations! This is an exciting time in your life and probably one of your biggest investments.
A common question that people have when going through the process is whether or not they need a Mississippi real estate lawyer. The answer may be simple, or it may not be. Let’s take a look so that you know how to proceed. If you need to work with an attorney, you want the opportunity to choose the right one!
Know Your State’s Requirements
First off, every state has different requirements when it comes to real estate attorneys. Some states leave it as an option to the buyer and seller while others make it mandatory. In Mississippi, the transactions are closed by an attorney, rather than an escrow service. However, things can vary between regions, so check with your local agent to determine what is best for you.
Consider the Circumstances of the Sale
Second, it’s important to consider the particular situation you are in. Realtors have some training and education in regards to distressed properties, sales ethics and more. As part of their licensing, they must be tested on the various contracts used in the state where they practice. As long as the closing won’t have anything out of the ordinary, your realtor can probably handle the contractual side of the transaction just fine.
If you will be buying a property that could have structural damage or is in a problematic area (i.e., flood zone), it’s recommended to work with a real estate attorney Mississippi. The same is true if you are an out-of-town buyer and not exactly familiar with the location. Short sales, bank-owned and commercial properties should also be led by an experienced lawyer.
What if I’m Not Required to Hire a Real Estate Attorney?
Before you consider entering into and closing a transaction without a lawyer, please be advised that hiring a lawyer is money well spent. Consider that a real estate lawyer can:
Prepare you closing documents and be certain title is vested in the proper name
● Identify errors between the contract and closing documents.
● Examine the title to the property and note liens or defects and cure these matters before closing.
● Prepare title commitments and other documents, such as the Closing Disclosure Statement (residential) or Closing Statement (commercial).
● Ensure compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
● Submit 1099 to the IRS.
In the end, an attorney makes sure that your best interests are represented. With such a major investment, it’s reassuring to know that someone is looking out for you!