Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney?

Do I need a Real Estate Attorney?When ever a client hears the question “Do you have an attorney?” I know there is about a 90% chance that the response will be either “Do I need one?”  or “What does the attorney do?”  Both are great questions with good answers.  Do you need one?  Well, do you need medical or life insurance?  Some people might argue that you don’t need them but you most likely want them (even if it is reluctantly).  I always recommend that a buyer or seller have an attorney represent them.  Buying or selling a home is usually the largest transaction a person will be involved with and you want to have a solid team working for you (Realtor, Attorney, Home Inspector, Lender) to make sure your interests are taken care of.

A good attorney is a key player on your team and covers a variety of responsibilities including:

  • Reviewing sales contracts, documents and forms
  • Calculating and verifying the funds involved in the transaction (taxes, closing costs, pro-rations, etc)
  • Reviewing Mortgage documents
  • Reviewing and confirming the Title and Title Insurance information
  • If a Seller has problems with their Title the Attorney will work to help clear them
  • Provide info and forms on Real Estate Tax Exemptions for a Buyer
  • Create the deed to transfer the property at closing
  • If Buyers or Sellers can’t attend the closing the Attorney can represent them at closing
  • Keep their clients informed of any issues to take care of after the closing

If you are on the fence about using an attorney it might be a good idea to call one and ask them a few questions.  Click here for a list of excellent real estate attorneys for the Champaign-Urbana area

The next most common question my clients have is “How much does it cost?”  The average ranges from $375 to $500 per transaction depending on the attorney and it is typically a flat fee.  If the transaction runs into big issues the fee might increase but the attorney should let you know before going beyond the initial fee.   I have used an attorney in my personal transactions and and think it is money well spent.  I’ve seen plenty of transactions where the buyers wished they had an attorney and didn’t but I have not seen many (possibly any) where the buyer was disappointed that they had an attorney.  Questions?  Feel free to email me at

Need to find your next  house before you can use the attorney? Search the entire Champaign County MLS (Hassle Free!)

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