Certain states require that lawyers participate in residential real property transactions, particularly at settlement or closing. You will notice that I said “some states require …'”, not just that you need to have a lawyer. Most states are affectionately known by real estate lawyers as “non-attorney states”. Conducting real estate closings in these states is not considered to be the practice of law. Therefore, you don’t need a real estate attorney. Rest of the country is located in “attorney” state or other states that require real estate lawyers to be present for all or part of the closing. You need someone who is able to help you navigate the complex world of real estate. In good standing and licensed. You can check the web sites of many states to verify that the real estate lawyer is licensed and in good standing. Experienced. Referrals can be as good as word of mouth. Chances are that a relative or friend has been satisfied with a real-estate lawyer. Real Estate Savvy. This is a very specialized field. This is a specialized area. It would be great if you knew from the beginning if yours is one of these simple transactions. But, most people cannot see the future so if you hire a lawyer to represent you, they will need to be knowledgeable about real estate law and its particularities. You can find it in your local area. You should ensure that your real estate lawyer is familiar with the local laws and ordinances. This will make a huge difference in how smooth your deal runs. You can trust and work with. It is not a good idea to hire someone you don’t like or trust. It is not worth it if you can’t trust the information she provides you with or if you don’t like talking to them. Real estate transactions are not brain mls.ca. There are many good real estate attorneys who have pleasant personalities. It is not a good idea to hire someone who doesn’t get along with other people. Your lawyer will deal with both you and your buyer. You need someone who can help you get the job done and protect you. How can you tell if your state is an “attorney” state? The easiest way is to log onto a website, such as [http://www.legalwiz.com/escrow.htm] which has a list. You can also call your local bar association or title insurer, your mortgage lender, and your local escrow agent. It is not an accident that the word “local” is used. Real estate is always local, and all real property laws are local. If you have a house in an “attorney state”, adding a real estate attorney to your team is both prudent and necessary. It’s a given that you will need one, so it might be a good idea to get them on your team. Do I Need A Real Estate Lawyer In A “Non-Attorney” State? If your house is located in one of the “non-lawyer” majority states, you may need to hire a real estate attorney if you have any questions. However, there is no rush and naked are usually done through escrow in “non-attorney states”. The escrow agent is not your attorney, but they can be very knowledgeable and are required to follow the instructions you gave them when they set up the escrow. A real estate lawyer can be your second most valuable asset if you hire one. You can trust her to advise you on everything from title and inspection issues, contract disclosures, and holding the earnest money until the closing. Remember: Real estate lawyers in states other than those that have an attorney are not deal-makers. They are responsible for ensuring that the contract is executed properly. They might or may not be involved with the actual negotiations. TIP: Some areas of real estate law make a lot of money through the title companies they work with. It is your responsibility as the seller to transfer title. It could be in your best interest to work with a real estate lawyer who is familiar with the title company.