Real estate issues are delicate and there are many things that can go wrong with real estate. The legal area is vast and it's regulated by common law, as well as federal and state statutes. When transactions within real estate go sour, lawyers who specialize in laws and regulations of the segment come into play. They act as litigators, and they also handle the legal aspects of real estate transactions.
The job of a real estate lawyer differs depending on his specialization. Some lawyers choose to handle fraud cases; others prefer real estate transactions or residential and commercial real estate. Some real estate lawyers decide to focus on real estate fraud cases (mortgage frauds or disclosure frauds, for instance), while others prefer focusing on zoning and subdivision laws and land use.
Most commonly, a real estate lawyer will deal with terms and conditions negotiation and he will have to prepare and review documents and mediate in title transfers. He will handle contract drafts, lease issues, eviction proceedings, disputes between the landlord and the tenant or homeowner association issues. The real estate lawyer will cover any issue that may arise within the area, be it title disputes, covenants, mortgages or easements. Most real estate issues affect both commercial businesses and individuals, no matter if they are in the position of a landlord or a tenant. Types of law that are practiced within real estate are land law, contract law, equity and trusts, environmental law, dispute resolution, construction law and planning law. As you can see, the area overlaps with a multitude of other law areas.
Minimizing financial loss of the seller and buyer is their main concern. If needed, they will check loan documents and contracts for any omissions or errors. Real estate lawyers will help their clients with title issues, insurance issues or environmental concerns. As with any other lawyer expertise, written and verbal communication skills are a must, as well as strong analytical and negotiation skills. As there are many interconnected areas in real estate, networking is also considered a good trait.
Some real estate lawyers work for the government and use their experience and expertise to handle operations and issues within building and zoning departments of counties and municipalities. Others work in corporations and lending institutions. Some prefer to work for title or real estate companies and advise them about all the issues that may arise and how to avoid them they will explain why high interest rates on mortgages might be bad and when the lending standards are too tight.
The salary is good and depends on hourly rates and experience. Economic recession isn't the best time for real estate lawyers (as oppose to bankruptcy lawyers), as the demand for real estate declines in such times. If there are not enough job opportunities, relocating might help. Even so, there are still many individuals and corporations who seek the expertise and advice from real estate lawyers, so itís not a surprise that the working hours might be quite long, so if youíre planning to go down this road, bring plenty of coffee.