While residents of other states may try to close real estate transactions with the aid of an attorney, most Ohio buyers and sellers are savvy enough to know they need a real estate lawyer to guide them through the process.
From transfer tax stamps to water bill requirements to title insurance, real estate transactions in Ohio are fraught with peril for the uninitiated. To help you start this process, here are a few tips on how to pick your real estate lawyer.
Check your local bar association. Most major cities, as well as some counties, have a bar association that can help guide you to a real estate lawyer. Bar associations oversee the attorneys in their jurisdiction, so they typically steer you towards attorneys who are in good standing, and will be able to help you buy or sell a home in a safe and secure manner.
Search the Internet. The Internet is the new phonebook, so most real estate lawyers have an online presence, even if it’s in the form of a very basic website. The best real estate attorneys in Ohio don’t necessarily have the fanciest websites, but make sure to call the advertised lawyer first and ask questions about their level of experience before agreeing to meet.
Ask about their real estate experience. Once you’ve found a potential real estate attorney, you’ll want to make sure they have the experience necessary to guide you through your real estate deal. If an attorney doesn’t have experience closing deals in your county or municipality, you may want to search for another lawyer, as local knowledge is crucial in most residential real estate transactions.
Don’t listen to advice from the seller’s agent. In some real estate transactions, homebuyers will listen to advice from the seller’s real estate agent. You may be tempted to simply use the seller’s agent to save money. But this is not wise! Remember, the seller’s agent represents the interests of the seller. If you want to make sure your interests are protected, it’s better to hire your own real estate lawyer.
These are just a few of the things to consider when determining how to pick a real estate lawyer. During the course of your deal, your attorney will have to review title documents, make sure the title to the property is cleared, and sift through a mountain of closing documents.
Since the task is so difficult, you want to make sure you’ve picked the best real estate lawyer before leaping into the jungle of real estate transactions in Ohio.