Do I Need a Lawyer or Notary for Real Estate?

Closing a real estate transaction can be difficult without legal assistance. It is often worth the additional cost to hire a lawyer or notary when buying or selling a home. They protect your rights and help the process go smoothly. With the guidance of a lawyer or notary, your transaction is much more likely to close in a fair and cooperative manner than if you were to negotiate on your own.

But how do you decide between a lawyer and a notary to assist you with your real estate needs? They both are great resources to assist you with your real estate transactions. We’ll go over the benefits of each and the differences in what they offer to help you decide between the two.

What do Notaries Offer?

A notary is defined as a public officer who administers oaths, takes affidavits, witnesses and authenticates documents and much more depending on the jurisdiction. Above all else, a notary is legally authorized to sign your real estate documents, giving the forms the validation they need to be accepted. Whether you’re buying or selling a property, signing a mortgage loan, refinancing your home or transferring a title, a notary will certify the authenticity of these important documents.

Notaries can also prepare your real estate paperwork for you. They will work with you to draft the legal documents necessary for buying or selling a home. After ensuring that you understand the terms of the contract, the notary will serve as a witness to the signing. A notary can handle any covenant and builder’s liens and zoning applications as well.

What do Lawyers Offer?

Whether it’s a real estate transaction or another legal matter, lawyers are there to provide you with helpful legal advice. When closing the deal on a property, you must understand the terms stated on the paperwork you sign. Real estate contracts are not written in layman’s terms, though. A lawyer is an expert in real estate law and will understand the terminology of the contract, so you don’t have to worry about signing a deal you do not agree to.

A lawyer helps protect your rights by negotiating on your behalf. He is aware of common problems that arise during real estate transactions and can help you avoid them. A lawyer reviews the home inspection and makes sure you know all necessary facts about the property.

Having a real estate lawyer lessens your chances of being sued for failure to disclose information. He can review all the information available to make sure no surprises will come back to haunt you further down the road. He can also make sure that there is no hidden language in the final sale contract that could make you responsible for damages after the sale.

What’s the Difference?

The differences between a lawyer and a notary are not completely obvious. Both want your real estate transactions to go smoothly and efficiently, and both can assist you with your real estate documents and legalities. The main difference between the two is that lawyers have slightly more responsibility than notaries. Lawyers will handle your case and appear in court if any legal problems arise. Perhaps because of this added responsibility, lawyers are typically required to have two degrees in order to be certified to practice law.

They Are Working for You

At the end of the day, it is essential to remember that a real estate lawyer or notary’s job is to protect your interests. They ensure that you are comfortable with the deal and understand every step in the process. Without a lawyer or notary, you run the risk of closing a deal that is not in line with your needs and will cause you more problems in the future.