Real Estate Law in Idaho

What Is a Real Estate Attorney?

A real estate attorney is a licensed professional who handles the legal responsibilities related to real estate transactions. The attorney can represent the buyer, seller or lender’s interests. Licensed attorneys can prepare and review any legal document related to the sale or transfer of real property.

What a Real Estate Attorney Does

The services offered by real estate lawyers are varied and complex. At Ellsworth Kalla s& Defranco, Pllc, our services are limited to assisting buyers and sellers of real property with their transaction and closing. These services include preparing or reviewing sales contracts, the title report, and assisting in reviewing any issues with liens, easements, or other potential issues with the title or transaction. These are not services that a realtor can provide. 

Here are some of the tasks the real estate attorney can do during a transaction:

Negotiate Real Estate Deals
The real estate attorney conducts due diligence by ensuring terms are included in the deal that protect the client’s interests. Attorneys only represent one party in a real estate transaction, you. If you are confused about what your realtor is doing, or who they represent (buyer, seller or both) you are not alone. Realtors have a financial incentive to close the deal and move on. Many realtors do not know how to read a title report or even attend a closing. Attorneys, on the other hand, have extensive training and knowledge or real property and contract law. You should also know that the services of an attorney are far less expensive, in most cases, than the fees you will pay a realtor. 

Draft and Review Real Estate Contracts
The attorney makes sure the contract—such as the purchase, mortgage or rental agreement—is properly drafted and includes all the legal requirements and terms needed.

Carry Out Title Searches
Real estate attorneys can review title searches and reports. A title search is necessary in many situations to ensure that:

  • The seller has the legal right to transfer the property to the buyer
  • There are no liens against the property
  • There are no ongoing issues that affect the buyer’s ability to take possession of the property
  • There are no restrictive covenants or zoning ordinances limiting land use
  • All property taxes have been paid

Obtain Proper Title Insurance Policies
A title insurance policy covers any third-party claims on a property that comes up after the real estate transaction has closed and was not uncovered during the initial title search. An attorney can assist you in obtaining the right coverage and the right cost.

Review Closing Documents
The real estate attorney can assist you in reviewing all documents necessary to close your transaction. The title company and your realtor will provide little, if any service, in this regard. If you have questions about what that stack of documents is at closing, you should retain an attorney. 

Real Estate Disputes and Litigation
At Ellsworth Kallas and Defranco, Pllc, we can represent you in a real estate dispute—whether it is an easement dispute, or seller’s fraud or misrepresentation. We have extensive experience in real property disputes and litigation. 

Government Interference. If your property has been improperly taken or damaged by the government through improper regulation, condemnation, of zoning, we can assist you in evaluating your case and your rights.

If you have a real estate or property case, contact Joseph L. Ellsworth to schedule a consultation.