Seattle Real Estate Attorney Roles

A Seattle real estate attorney is a professional whose job is to provide legal assistance for anyone who needs help with their real estate needs. They have a lot of responsibilities to provide support for their clients, and it depends on the type of client they are working for. If their client is a home buyer, the real estate attorney needs to help the buyer understand the purchase contract and ownership laws and review and prepare the necessary legal documentation. Whereas if their client is a home seller, the attorney needs to help the seller prepare the purchase and sale agreement with the buyer, prepare required disclosures, and negotiate any terms for sale.

Legal Document Drafting

Real estate attorneys draft various contracts that serve as legal documents. The contracts in question are not only the purchase as mentioned above contracts for homebuyers but also residential contracts, commercial contracts, rental contracts, leases, and easements. The contracts frequently need to be negotiated with other attorneys and then have their clients review them to be aware of all the basics and terms before deciding on what they would like to do with a property. Other legal documents are not contracts, including additional home purchase agreements, recorded title documents, documents from lenders, title insurance policies, mortgage documents, property tax documents, and transfer documents.

Property Title Searching

When a buyer seeks to purchase a property, their attorney needs to review and understand the property’s title. A title refers to the original owner of a property and, to an extension, any previous owners that owned the property before that person. The title also includes any document that has been recorded against the property in the past. The attorney needs to know that there are no outstanding claims or liens against the property nor any fraudulent transfers or missing pieces of information along the chain of past ownership. To ensure that there isn’t any suspicious activity or anything missing about the title, the buyer’s attorney needs to review the title report and the documents attached. The title company prepares the title report, but the title company does not provide an opinion about most title issues. Hiring an experienced real estate attorney will ensure protection for the buyer and ensure that the buyer will receive a good and clean title at closing. In addition, the home seller’s attorney needs to correct any issues with the title that may come up during the purchase, including ownership problems, removing liens, and work with the title company to clear other title problems from the property’s title.

Attending the Closing of a Property

In many states, during the closing of a property, the attorneys have to attend it to act as a liaison between all people involved. They represent the interests of the client they are working with (either the buyer or the seller) and are responsible for handling the transaction process during the purchase of the property. In Washington and the Seattle area, closing occurs at an escrow company that manages the funds and records the deed and mortgages. The buyer’s attorney and the seller’s attorney are responsible for reviewing all the papers and documents for their clients so that the two parties can sign them at closing and complete the closing process. The buyer’s attorney would ensure that the proceedings are accurate, legal, and binding. In contrast, the seller’s attorney would confirm the amounts due to the seller and assist in the transfer process of the property to the buyer.

Dealing with Legal Disputes

A real estate attorney’s job is to protect their client’s rights, whether they are a buyer or a seller. Whenever there is a real estate dispute between the buyer and the seller, the attorney’s responsibility is to resolve the problem and provide legal representation for their respective client. The conflicts may be a breach of contract dispute between the buyer and the seller, mortgage payment issues, a title issue, or adverse possession. So when these disputes occur, the attorneys need to get to the root of the problem and obtain facts from both sides to find the best possible solution for their clients. For example, suppose there is an issue regarding the property’s title. In that case, the attorney’s job is to clear the title defect before the deed can be drafted, conveying the property from buyer to seller. A real estate attorney may also represent a landlord and a tenant, and they would help resolve any rental disputes between the two parties. Suppose the landlord has trouble with their tenant, such as failing to pay their monthly rent on time or violating the rental agreement terms. In that case, the landlord’s attorney has to fight for the owner’s right to reclaim the property, including evicting the tenant if necessary. Likewise, suppose the tenant has trouble with their landlord, such as the increase in the monthly rental price or the poor condition of the building they are leasing. In that case, the tenant’s attorney has to fight for the tenant’s rights and take legal action against the landlord if necessary.

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