Why Every Real Estate Agent Needs a Real Estate Attorney
South Florida is one of the nation’s hottest Real Estate markets. As result, the region is also home to more real estate agents than most other areas of similar size in the US. In all, some 21,000 active real estate agents ply their trade between Boca Raton in the north and Miami in the South.
If you are one of these agents, do you have a close working relationship with a real estate lawyer who can support your transactions? If not, then perhaps you should.
Here are three important reasons why:
1. Legal Potholes Abound
The contract is a very lengthy and legally binding agreement with many conditions that have to be met and buyers and sellers are both bound to many obligations of which they may not be aware. Because real estate agents cannot draft documentation beyond completing a standard real estate purchase agreement. Real estate agents would be operating outside of their remit if they attempted to revise or redraft part of a purchase agreement. So if the buyer or seller wanted to change certain clauses in the document, the real estate agent is not legally be permitted to make those changes or advise whether they should be made.
In such cases, it is wise to have an established relationship with an experienced real estate attorney who can draft and revise purchase agreements, legally, to facilitate the transaction.
2. It’s hard to differentiate “Legal Advice” from “Legal Information”
Realtors, real estate agents and title agents are not allowed to give any legal advice, legal guidance or legal opinions unless they are also an attorney licensed to practice in Florida. This is both a legal requirement as well as one of professional ethics. Agents can, however, recite the legal requirements of the transaction without interpretation.
This is referred to as providing legal information as opposed to legal advice. It is recommended that agents retain a competent real estate lawyer to determine what actions may be crossing the fine line between legally reciting legal concepts related to the transaction and attempting to interpret them. In cases where a legal opinion is required, then having an attorney involved ahead of time can make the process more efficient.
“Real Estate Agents, do you have a close working relationship with a real estate lawyer who can support your transactions? If not, then perhaps you should.”
3. Litigation is Common
Unfortunately, real estate contracts often times end up in litigation. Having an attorney at the outset (before an offer is made or accepted) may help in avoiding litigation. When all parties are aware of the requirements of the purchase agreement, the chances of a dispute are minimized. In an industry where single transactions routinely exceed six and seven figure dollar amounts, the liability involved with disputes can be significant. Real estate agents should beware of attempting to handle such high-value disputes without legal representation and support.
Are you a real estate agent involved in high-value property sales? If so, contact the offices of South Florida Law. Our attorneys are experts in real estate, title and other matters related to commercial and residential real estate in Florida. You can real us on (954) 900-8885
Nima Ajabshir, Esq. is the Managing Partner at South Florida Law, with an emphasis in Real Estate Law. Mr. Ajabshir received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Florida State University, where he graduated Cum Laude. Mr. Ajabshir, Esq. attended and received his Juris Doctorate from St. Thomas University School of Law. In addition to being an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Florida, Mr. Ajabshir, Esq. has his real estate license, so he has experience in both the legal and transactional facets of Florida real estate.