The world of real estate can be incredibly rewarding and financially lucrative, but it’s also one that’s complex and full of potential pitfalls. It’s for this broad reason that real estate companies should never operate without the assistance of legal professionals. Legal recruitment for the real estate sector is not so hard to handle, but how exactly do these lawyers fit into the real estate field?
Real Estate Touches Many Areas of Legal Expertise
You might think real estate is just about buying and selling properties, and that’s certainly the gist of it, but there are many legal areas that are naturally touched within that practice. For instance, land law, equity and trusts, contract law, planning permission, environmental laws, legal matters relating to construction, the resolving of property- and land-related disputes, and more.
These services are available as stand-alone services from independently practicing property lawyers, but real-estate companies benefit massively from bringing this field of expertise in-house.
Real-Estate In-House Legal Expert – Day-to-Day Work
The first important area that your in-house lawyer will cover is due diligence. Smart buyers will employ lawyers to do their own due diligence on a new home, and so a real estate must be ready for anything. For example, real estate companies are obliged by Australian law to inform prospective buyers of any known problems with a property.
An in-house lawyer ensures that any written documentation or prepared presentation by agents will contain all the necessary information so that the company doesn’t get caught out by a buyer and their own nimble lawyer.
You could say this falls under the umbrella of due diligence, but it’s important enough to get its own subheading. When a real estate company cares about its reputation, it doesn’t want to sell properties that then go on to surprise its new owners because of adjacent future developments, demolition plans, or changes to the zoning of the area. These are things that will appear in local and state government plans, or in building certifications.
The area of inspections also includes ensuring that properties are checked for things like pest inspection reports, and local government plans for any changes to infrastructure. For instance, a building with a history of termite infestation is obviously less desirable, but a building next to which there will be a brand-new subway or metro stop opening up within a decade represents a very good investment.
One more very important area for legal expertise is checking over all the relevant contracts. A real estate company has to be able to provide reliable, water-tight contracts that don’t harm the buyer but also don’t expose the real estate business to any risks. The sharp and keen eye of a real estate lawyer is what you need to ensure that that will happen.
When a real estate lawyer has checked through contracts and other related documents and given a green light, real estate agents can then work with greater confidence, safe in the knowledge that all the t’s have been crossed and the i’s have been dotted.
Lawyers Work to Protect Real Estate Businesses
Above anything else, a good real estate lawyer will work to protect the business from any potential legal, financial or administrative risk. Beyond the work done with customers, be they buyers or sellers, real estate businesses themselves benefit from having a shrewd legal mind in-house, helping ensure all business is carried out to the right level of detail, that there are systems and structures in place within the company to resolve disputes, and much more.
Hiring a lawyer for your real estate company will certainly be one of the smarter decisions you make.