Tampa Real Estate Lawyer
Real Estate matters can be some of the most stressful times in our lives. Whether one is purchasing or selling a home, making an investment in property, resolving an issue with a landlord or tenant, being involved in a frustrating contractual dispute, or dealing with code or city ordinance issues, it is helpful to have the legal expertise and peace of mind that a legal professional can provide. Let the Law Office of Gian-Franco Melendez, LLC help put you in the best position possible in any real estate matter you may find yourself in.
One of the things that makes real estate law complicated is that they involve large amounts of money. Often times, complex and high value real estate transactions often mean the other party will try to get away with something that is not in your best interest.
Real Estate Legal Service We Provide Clients
The Law Office of Gian-Franco Melendez provides a broad array of real estate legal services, representing buyers, sellers, landowners, landlords, investors, commercial and residential developers, brokers, lenders, homeowners, and associations.
We handle the following types of real estate transactions:
- General Real Estate Issues
- Residential Landlord/Tenant
- Commercial Landlord/Tenant
- Residential Purchases/Sales, Contracts
- Commercial Purchases/Sales, Contracts
- Zoning, Land Use
- Eminent Domain
- Breach of Contract
- Commission Disputes
Difference Between a Real Estate Attorney and a Real Estate Agent
If you already have a real estate agent, why do you need a real estate attorney?
Unlike real estate agents, real estate attorneys are not paid based on commission. Therefore, a real estate attorney has no incentive to complete a transaction that is not in your best interest. Florida real estate lawyers are required by the Florida Bar to always work in the best interest of their client. Unlike a real estate agent, we cannot also represent the other side of a legal transaction.
Real estate agents cannot give legal advice and are limited in what changes they can make to closing documents. They are not allowed to review or change the sales agreement, closing paperwork, or mortgage contract. A real estate attorney can make these changes to fit your needs while performing a variety of other services.
Agents have their place in real estate transactions but they do not fulfill all the needs of a client. Hiring a real estate lawyer is the best way to protect all your interest during a real estate transaction.
How can a real estate lawyer help you?
Real estate attorneys can provide you with help for anything from a single step in the process to detailed legal services, like setting up a holding company or negotiating a commercial transaction.
Real estate attorneys can also help you with services related to:
- Title Research
- Real Estate Documents
- Commercial and Residential Transactions
The Four Types of Real Estate Clients
There are four basic types of clients that usually need different real estate legal services. They are:
- Residential Buyers and Sellers
- Commercial Buyers and Sellers
- Real Estate Investors
- Banks and Lenders
Each group is governed by different laws and regulations, requiring unique skills and services.
Residential Buyers and Sellers
When you think about a residential buyer and seller, think about someone who is buying or selling a home. Purchasing a house involves lots of money and nearly as many legal documents as dollars. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a real estate attorney review your closing documents to ensure everything is in your best interest. Buying a home will affect your financial life for 20 to 30 years, so it is a very important process that should not be breezed through.
In Florida, residential real estate transactions are standardized by the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar. These standard contracts are known as FARBAR. However, if you need something changed in the closing paperwork that is not standardized, your real estate agent cannot do this. Instead, you will need the help of a real estate attorney.
Commercial Buyers and Sellers
Buying or selling a commercial property does not come with the same protections and standardization forms that residential parties have. Buying a commercial property is much more complicated and much more involved. Because of this, you should have a real estate attorney make sure your best interests are being met.
A real estate lawyer will come in handy for a commercial buyer or seller, by:
- checking on any possible environmental issues,
- ensuring the property is zoned for your use,
- reviewing the title history,
- checking for any liens or easement,
- ensuring the legal description of the property matches the property being sold,
- reviewing the condition of the structure,
- reviewing the survey, blueprints, and engineering plans,
- and reviewing the rent or other income that will be derived from the commercial property.
Real Estate Investors
Investors have a different set of needs and legal considerations than someone who is buying a residential property for personal use. Additionally, they often do not have the same protections Florida grants to residential home buyers.
This makes it super important for a real estate investor to hire a real estate lawyer to help ensure that everything is in order and best fit their needs, both now and in the future.
Investors may need the assistance of a real estate attorney to setup a corporate structure for their investments, like an LLC.
Another issue investors often need legal help with is structuring the transaction to minimize tax liability. There are many different factors that affect a real estate investors taxes, most of which can easily be maneuvered with the help of an attorney.
Banks and Lenders
Real estate lawyers can also represent banks and lenders, an area for which there are not any standard contracts. Lenders need real estate lawyers more than anyone to ensure their interests are protected by drafting and reviewing legal documents, attaching any liens, and working to ensure the specific property does not increase the lender’s risk.
Do I need a real estate attorney?
Of course, not every home purchase needs a real estate attorney. Likewise, lots of commercial sellers or buyers are well-versed in the process. The issues that require an attorney is when any of this starts to sound like Ancient Greek; this is when you are getting into hot water and probably need someone who is very familiar with the process and legalities on your side.
A real estate attorney can provide you with critical guidance throughout the entire transaction, ensuring your interests are fully protected.
It is a good idea to hire a real estate attorney to help negotiate the terms of any deal that includes significant financial risk. Real estate attorneys are skilled and trained in conducting their due diligence to make sure that everything with the property checks out for their client. They are skilled in reviewing all types of legal documents, and making sure you are not signing something that is unfair or undesirable.
If you feel you need a real estate attorney, you probably should at least speak to one. The Law Office of Gian-Franco Melendez is here to answer ay of your questions. We can be reached by calling 813-841-6553 or by contacting us online for help with your real estate matter.