Do I need an attorney?
Realtors are licensed to complete contracts and explain contingencies, but they can’t give you legal advice. Protect your interests throughout the process by finding a good real estate attorney right from the start.
Your attorney can:
- Tell you what you need to disclose to buyers.
- Help you avoid inadvertent discrimination.
- Advise you of how to write contingencies to protect your interests.
- Prepare the deed and power of attorney.
- Help you remedy title defects.
- Determine if your property is in conflict with local restrictions.
- Attend the closing and review the papers you will be required to sign.
- Arrange for insurance certificates.
How to find a real estate attorney
If you are not working with a realtor who can recommend a good real estate lawyer, you must find one on your own. It’s also up to you to pay his/her fees.
You can look in the yellow pages or on the internet, but the best place to start is by asking friends and family for recommendations.
Be sure that the attorney you contact really knows the ins-and-outs of Wisconsin real estate law and is good at what he/she does.
Be careful about using a non-legal service company that claims it can do all the legal work you need. Real estate law is complex, and real estate attorneys belong to a regulated profession with standards they must meet and insurance to cover damages if they make a mistake. You might not have the same protection with non-legal advisors if something goes wrong.
Do not take shortcuts or try to do this yourself. If you’re tempted to save money by downloading legal forms off the web, beware. Although many legal forms used in real estate are similar, forms vary from state to state.