Residential Real Estate Lawyer – Do You Really Need One?

Some states require lawyers to participate in residential real estate transactions, especially at closing or settlement. Notice how I said, “some states require…’” not simply that you need a real estate lawyer. The majority of states are known affectionately (by real estate lawyers) as, “non-attorney” states. In those states, conducting real estate closings is not considered the practice of law, so you are not required to have a real estate lawyer. The rest of the country resides in either, “attorney” states or states that have mandated the participation of real estate lawyers either for the entire closing or for some parts of the closing. (The parts where you need a real estate lawyer are usually defined by the clear as mud description, “those instances requiring the use of legal discretion and profound legal knowledge.”) Since choosing the right real estate lawyer can save you a lot of aggravation, you want someone who is:Licensed and in good standing. Many states have web sites where you can look to see that the real estate lawyer you are considering is both licensed and in good standing.Experienced. Word of mouth can be the best recommendation. If a friend or relative has been well served and satisfied with a real estate lawyer, chances are you will be also.Real Estate Savvy. This is a specialized area. Just as every midwife might be capable of handling a simple birth, every lawyer might be capable of handling the so-called simple closing, (in California and other “non-attorney” states, people generally do not even use lawyers for residential transactions.) It would be nice, if at the beginning, you could know if yours will be one of those simple transactions. However, since most of us cannot see into the future, if you decide to hire a lawyer, you’ll want one well versed in real estate law and its peculiarities.In your area. It is important that the real estate lawyer you hire be familiar with local rules and ordinances as they can have an enormous impact on how smoothly your deal flows.That you can work with. There is no point in hiring someone you either do not like or do not trust. What good does it do you if you cannot rely on the information she gives you or, just as bad, you cannot stand talking to that person? A real estate transaction is not brain surgery; there are plenty of good real estate lawyers who also have pleasant personalities. You do not want to hire someone that does not play well with others. Your lawyer will be dealing not only with you, but with your buyer. You want someone who will help get the job done while protecting you.How Can You Tell If Your State Is An “Attorney” State?The easiest way is to log onto a website, such as [http://www.legalwiz.com/escrow.htm] which has a list. In addition to that, you can call your local bar association, your local title insurer, your local mortgage lender, or your local escrow agent. Using the word “local” is no accident. All real estate is local and all real estate laws are local in the sense of being governed by the state law of the state where the property is located.
If your house is located in an “attorney” state, adding a real estate lawyer to your team is both necessary and prudent. You’re going to have to have one anyway, so you might as well get her or him on the team early.Do I Need A Real Estate Lawyer In A “Non-Attorney” State?If the house you want to sell is in one of the majority “non-lawyer” states, you might need a real estate lawyer at some point if things get complicated, but there is no rush. In “non-attorney” states, closings usually take place through escrow. Although the escrow agent does not represent you, they are usually very knowledgeable and they are obligated to follow the directions you outlined when the escrow was set up.If you do hire a real estate lawyer, she can be your second most valuable player. From advising you on such matters as the contract, disclosures, title, inspection issues, to holding the earnest money and handling the closing.REMEMBER: Even in “attorney” states, real estate lawyers are not deal makers. Their job is to make sure the contract is properly executed. They may or may not be involved in the actual negotiations.TIP: In some areas, real estate lawyers make a large chunk of their money from the title company they work with. As the seller, it will be your responsibility to bring down title. Therefore, working with an real estate lawyer who has a relationship with a title company, could be to your benefit.© 2007 Complete Books Publishing, Inc.

Prospecting For Commercial Real Estate Listings

When you prospect in commercial real estate sales or leasing situations, you will meet with and will talk to many people on a daily basis. The more people you do this with the better. Prospecting is critical to your business growth and listing processes in any market.It is interesting to consider what prospecting situation you find yourself most often in. The answer is different for everyone as each person has communication preferences and methods of approach that works for them over other standard approaches. It is therefore most important to prospect in the way that suits your character and business style.Your daily prospecting method should be the thing that works for you and gives you the best results and could be any or all of:Telephone
Door to door
Networking events
Referrals
Face to face contactIn all respects the prospecting and meeting process will be enhanced if you refine it and use a small number of statements that gain the attention of the prospect. We call these statements ‘Prospect Value Statements’ (PVS) and they must relate to you and your commercial or investment real estate market.Prospect Value StatementsThe ‘Prospect Value Statement’ is one of a kind and should match you, your business, and your focus. It should clearly declare and communicate the fundamental reason why your organisation exists and why you’re selling or leasing commercial investment property from the prospects perspective. It is the most important thing that you can learn and use in commercial real estate. That being said, it is amazing how many salespeople in commercial real estate do not master the concept and some never even know about it. The PVS is such an important statement to your conversion process that we will spend time now on it in helping you design your own.So why is the PVS so important? It succinctly, clearly, and precisely defines what you do and how you do it in commercial real estate. Better still, it does so in a way that your clients and prospects can see and know why they should do business with you. The PVS will tell them that you are better than the competition agents in the market.The PVS plays a role in just about every business opportunity and prospecting situation that you come across.Sample of a Commercial PVS’We assist our commercial investor clients in the industrial market at Salisbury to find new tenants that match their investment plan or cash flow expectations, and therefore enjoy a more stable occupancy. We do this by canvassing all tenant changes in the region for the coming 3 years and directing deals to the desirable tenants at the right time for our clients.’Sample Structure of a PVS’We assist our commercial clients (companies, tenants, or investors) in the … industry (or business, or market segment, or location) to … and enjoy … We do this by …’To make this work, it’s important for you to know and really understand what end result benefit you actually deliver to your commercial real estate prospects, customers and clients (be they landlords, tenants or investors). You also need to know exactly what benefit your prospects or clients actually want to gain, enjoy, achieve, or have in this market. Your PVS is matched to the end user of your services at all times.’Your PVS will also change over time as it will have relevance to the current market conditions and the pressures that your prospects need resolved.’So What Results and Benefits do Prospects Need?Before you start to create a PVS or a series of them for you and your business, let’s define some of the results and benefits that are typical desired outcomes for a client or prospect in a commercial real estate sale or lease situation. Consider your market. What are the priorities of the prospects that you deal with today?Commercial Real Estate Lease situations:Stable tenant
Good rent
Long lease
Major tenants
Quality tenants
Ability to refurbish
Make good obligations
Growth of rent
Stability of rent
Sound lease document
Resolving vacancies faster Commercial Real Estate Sales situations:Quick sale
Higher price
Confidential sale
Method of sale
Faster settlement
Good enquiry
Good promotion and marketing
Comprehensive market coverage
Sale to investors
Sale to owner occupiersGiven these benefits and your market trends now in your location, you should be able to easily construct a series of PVS models that suit the prospects that you deal with. Ideally you should be able to quickly call on 2 or 3 of these statements in any prospecting conversation to match the needs or interest of the prospect you are talking to.