Do you feel out of your depth when dealing with a real estate transaction and the jargon that comes with it? If you are doing it right, one inescapable task is doing due diligence on the property. Due diligence is investigating and verifying all the information related to a property before buying or selling it. It's crucial to ensure that the property is in good condition and that there are no outstanding liabilities. Here are the crucial roles a real estate lawyer plays in performing due diligence:
1. Reviewing the Title and Property History
A real estate attorney will review the title and property history to ensure there are no liens, judgments, or other issues that could affect your ability to purchase or sell the property. They'll also make sure that the property is properly zoned and that there are no zoning issues that could affect your use of the property.
This is an important step to ensure that the property is legally transferable and that there are no outstanding debts, taxes, or other claims that could affect the ownership of the property.
2. Checking for Building and Zoning Code Violations
Your lawyer will also check for any building and zoning code violations that could affect the property. They'll make sure that the property is up to code and that there are no outstanding issues that need to be addressed before closing. This is especially important if you're buying a property that's already built, as it ensures that the property is safe and compliant with local regulations.
3. Reviewing the Sales Contract and Disclosures
A real estate lawyer will review the sales contract and disclosures to ensure that everything is in order and that there are no hidden surprises. They'll make sure that the contract is legally binding and that the seller is disclosing all relevant information about the property.
This includes any known defects, issues, or repairs that need to be done. This step ensures that you're aware of all the information related to the property before you make the purchase and that you're protected legally.
4. Negotiating and Drafting Legal Documents
A real estate lawyer will also help you negotiate and draft legal documents such as purchase and sale agreements, deeds, and mortgages. They'll ensure that the documents are legally binding and protect your interests.
This is an important step because it ensures that all of the agreement's terms are fair and legally sound, and that you are protected in the event of a dispute.
It would be unusual to buy a property without performing due diligence, but you may not know where to start. Legal assistance is crucial in this process, from reviewing the title and property history to checking for building and zoning code violations. Contact a real estate lawyer today to perform due diligence before committing yourself to any property deal.