Q: Do you need a lawyer to sell land?
A: Technically, no, you don't need a lawyer to sell land, but there are some situations when it might be a good idea. You might consider hiring an attorney if you are faced with existing boundary disputes, involved in a sale of land that's partially wetland, or in circumstances concerning tax issues. Specific laws related to land vary by state, but one potential issue is the tax rate, which can differ depending on whether the land can have structures built on it.
Q: How much does a closing attorney cost?
A: Some states require a closing attorney, while others deem it optional. The cost of hiring a closing attorney varies widely by the state and law firm you choose. You can expect to pay between $2,500 and $3,000 for a simple buy/sell transaction, but keep in mind that this cost is likely to vary depending on your location and the complexities of the closing.
Q: Can a real estate lawyer represent the buyer and seller?
A: Generally speaking, no, because the seller and buyer have different priorities when it comes to a home sale, and some of those interests conflict. States have specific laws governing whether or not a real estate lawyer can represent the buyer and seller, and if this does happen, there's often a waiver that has to be signed by both parties acknowledging a conflict exists. States may have different names for a document like this, but it's usually called a Conflict Waiver. Acceptable exceptions for using the same real estate lawyer might include a property being transferred from one family member to another, such as a father to his son.
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