Don’t Let Time Be Your Enemy

By: Pile Law Firm, PLLC

What Are the Duties of a Licensed Realtor in Pennsylvania?

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Can a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Pennsylvania Manage All My Real Estate Issues?

While a licensed real estate agent can certainly assist with many aspects of a real estate transaction in Pennsylvania, it’s important to recognize that these transactions can be highly complex and involve a myriad of legal documents and issues. This is where a real estate law attorney can provide invaluable guidance and protection.

What Are Some Differences Between a Licensed Real Estate Agent and a Real Estate Law Attorney?

Unlike a licensed real estate agent, a real estate law attorney is able to offer legal advice and review and explain complex legal documents in a way that ensures you fully understand your rights and obligations. This is particularly important when it comes to the contract for the sale or purchase of the property, as well as other documents such as the title search and inspection report. A real estate law attorney can thoroughly explain these documents (and their ambiguous language), so you can sign them with peace of mind.

Your Blue Bell, real estate law attorney, can also offer legal advice where a licensed real estate agent cannot. For example, in Pennsylvania, there’s more than one way to hold title to many types of real estate. Your attorney will guide you as to which one would benefit you more; for example sole ownership or joint tenancy, the tax and inheritance advantages of both, and more.

A real estate law attorney can provide invaluable guidance and protection throughout the entire transaction, particularly when it comes to navigating the legal documents involved in real estate deals. You can enlist the help of a lawyer to review all the closing paperwork before you sign. This can be very cost-effective because if you run into issues after signing, the cost and stress of these problems can far outweigh the cost of an attorney to review your documents.  

It’s not surprising that many real estate transactions begin with the help of an agent and end with a lawyer being called in when legal issues arise (which happens). Your agent could lose their real estate license if they provide legal advice by answering legal questions. Knowing these legal limitations, a professional real estate law attorney is in an excellent position to protect your interests throughout the entire real estate transaction.

When Should I Use a Real Estate Law Attorney in Pennsylvania?

Your licensed real estate agent can help list your home for sale or find the right property (residential, rental, or commercial) for you to purchase.  In many real estate deals, a real estate law attorney’s guidance and legal knowledge are invaluable. For example, when a home inspection and title search are completed, your attorney can help you professionally negotiate changes to the Agreement of Sale.

Also, many buyers today are investors and may not be familiar with federal and state real estate laws. If the opposing party has a real estate attorney, you should also have legal representation for your protection.

Even a residential property purchase can be daunting and overwhelming to the standard home buyer. Accordingly, if your real estate transaction is more complex, involving multiple units, apartment buildings, development, and more, having a qualified real estate law attorney by your side is necessary in order to protect your investment and rights.

What Are Other Benefits a Real Estate Law Attorney Can Provide?

In most all real estate transactions, the importance of having a real estate law attorney involved is enormously increased if any of the following may be true:

  • A buyer will develop or subdivide the property – Developing real estate is a highly complex matter in Pennsylvania. Your professional real estate law attorney will make you aware of potential issues with development or build sites upfront so you don’t pay the price after closing the deal.
  • A buyer intends to use the property for business or change its present use – Investors, especially, may purchase your property with the intent to lease structures on it or use it for business purposes. However, not all existing property uses are permitted, and changing the use of a property may create violations of local zoning. You will avoid immeasurable “headaches” by consulting with a real estate law attorney and successfully side stepping these costly and “deal-breaking” issues.
  • A buyer is using “alternative financing” – If you’re a seller who may be “leaving money in” or gets involved in an installment sale agreement, ‘build to suit,’ or another financial arrangement, it’s vital that your real estate law attorney prepare the documents to clarify, insure and benefit your transaction.

As a real estate buyer or seller, you realize that there are no “simple” real estate transactions. The above examples are only a few, but there are many more. Using a Blue Bell real estate law attorney can ensure your real estate interests are protected.

I Have Legal Questions Regarding My Real Estate Transaction; How Should I Proceed?

Ultimately, while it may be possible to complete a real estate transaction without the assistance of a real estate law attorney, the potential costs and risks of doing so are simply too high. By enlisting the help of a qualified real estate law attorney, you can ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected throughout the entire process, giving you peace of mind and a greater likelihood of a successful transaction.

Therefore, even if you anticipate (or are experiencing) any legal problems with your home or any real estate purchase or sale, only a qualified real estate law attorney can provide the professional answers you require.

A mistake in real estate can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and your real estate law attorney will provide you with as much or as little legal assistance as you need. So, consult your attorney today to ensure your real estate interests are fully protected.