do you need a lawyer when buying land

by Ardith Mills Jr. 9 min read

From a legal perspective, you do not need to hire a real estate attorney when you purchase or sell land or property. In fact, you do not even have to involve a real estate agent as you can draw up a legal agreement directly with the other party involved in the transaction.

Do you need a lawyer to sell land and property?

Jun 04, 2019 · When it comes to buying vacant land, there are many different ways that an attorney may be able to assist you, including: Helping you understand zoning challenges. An attorney can help you look into zoning ordinances for the area, allowing you to determine if your lot is zoned for residential development, commercial development, mixed use, or so on.

Do you need to hire a real estate attorney at all?

Mar 13, 2022 · How much does a real estate attorney cost? If you hire one, it will depend on where you live, but you can expect to pay $800 to $1,000. Having an attorney involved early in the process can often...

Do I need a lawyer when buying a home in California?

Jan 17, 2010 · Unless things have changed they are, you must use a lawyer to represent you at closing (both buyer and seller), two you must have a survey, no way around either. You don't need an real estate agent. My parents had something similar they had an 20' X 50' lot behind their house and railroad tracks below.

Do I need an attorney to sell my house in Texas?

Oct 26, 2021 · A real estate professional can hold your hand through the entire process and help minimize hiccups. If you’re opposed to using an agent, it’s still smart to find a real estate attorneywho can address your legal concerns. One important step to take before finding a lenderis to have the land surveyed by a professional.


What should I consider when buying land?

6 Things to Consider Before Buying Land to Build onLocation. The absolute most important factor to consider before buying land is its location. ... Property Setbacks. ... Zoning Requirements. ... Natural Hazards. ... Easements. ... Utility Sources.Jan 29, 2018

Is it worth it buying land?

Buying raw land is a very risky investment because it will not generate any income and may not generate a capital gain when the property is sold. Moreover, utilizing a farm real-estate loan to purchase land is very risky.

Do you need a lawyer to buy land in NC?

Unlike in many states, North Carolina law requires sellers to involve a lawyer in the house closing and other aspects of the real estate transaction.Jun 18, 2021

Do you need a lawyer to buy land in NY?

Although attorneys aren't a required part of real estate transactions in many states, the local custom in New York is for both buyers and sellers to be represented by their own counsel. You might also want to hire a buyer's agent to help you find a home to purchase and advise you when making an offer.

Is buying land a good investment 2021?

If you're asking yourself, is buying land a good investment? The answer is yes, but you have to do your due diligence. Land is a finite resource with unlimited demand. It's not something that can be reproduced or replicated, yet people will always need new places to build homes or commercial buildings.Oct 8, 2021

How can land pay for itself?

7 Brilliant Business Ideas for Vacant Land Hosting a TurbineLease the Space to Solar and Wind Companies. ... Create a Campsite and Rent it Out. ... Embrace the Art of Farming Worms and Snails. ... Generate Cash in the Summer with a Premier Wedding Venue. ... Setup a Designated Hunting Ground. ... Grow Mushrooms and Flex that Green Thumb.More items...•Sep 21, 2017

How much does a closing attorney cost in NC?

Attorney fees in the Triangle NC area range from about $375 – 600. Be sure to ask if the lower fees include the cost of the Title Search. Many attorneys will price that separately and that could range from $125 – 250.

What are typical closing costs for buyer in NC?

On average in North Carolina, standard closing costs range just over 2.2% of a home's purchase price. For example, closing costs on a $200,000 home could add up to $4,400 or more.May 28, 2018

Does NC require a closing attorney?

North Carolina has a law that all real estate closings must take place with a North Carolina licensed attorney.Oct 28, 2011

How much does a real estate attorney cost in NY?

How much will you pay in real estate attorney fees for closing? Generally speaking, real estate agents will estimate that attorney fees in NYC will range anywhere from $1,500-$4,000 per transaction.Jan 8, 2022

Is a survey required for closing in NY?

You will need a land surveyor in New York because property surveys are not optional. State law requires a study to be conducted before you can close on a new home or another property type.

Who pays for title search in NY?

Title and closing fees: 0.28% Title fees pay for the settlement agent who handles the search and transfer of your title, as well as other related closing services. In New York, the buyer and seller typically cover the cost of their own title company or closing agent, but don't expect this for every sale.Apr 1, 2022

What to Do Before You Purchase Land

If you’ve decided to buy land, keep in mind that it’s not going to be a short-term project. Buying land is a major undertaking and to begin the pro...

Making An Offer on A Plot of Land

When you’re ready to purchase a piece of land, you’ll have to make the owner of the land a written offer. Much like you would if you were simply bu...

Completing Your Land Purchase Agreement

In order to claim a portion of land as your own, you’ll need to officially close on the land purchase. To do so, you’ll have to sign a land purchas...

Why do I need a real estate attorney?

Reasons to hire a real estate attorney even if it’s optional 1 You’re an out-of-town buyer. 2 You’re buying a property that is a short sale or bank-owned. 3 You’re buying a property that is part of an estate sale. 4 You’re buying a commercial property. 5 You’re buying a property that could potentially have some structural issues. 6 You’re buying a property in a problematic area such as a flood zone or areas with adverse conditions (tornado-prone, radon, toxicity levels, etc.).

Which states require a real estate attorney to be present at closing?

These include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Keep in mind that these rules can vary by region within states, too.

What does it mean when you are selling a house?

You’re selling a property that is in some state of distress. You’re the heir or executor of a property whose owner is now deceased. You’re selling a house with an uncooperative partner. You have judgments or liens on the property.

Who is Julie Ryan Evans?

Julie Ryan Evans is an editor and writer who has covered everything from politics to pop culture and beyond. She loves running, reading, cold wine, and hot weather. Get Pre-Approved Connect with a lender who can help you with pre-approval.


Laws vary from state to state, but I'd be leery of his assurances there are no liens etc -- stuff can happen without hus knowing it.


"I have learned so much thanks to the searchable articles on the FHB website. I can confidently say that I expect to be a life-long subscriber." - M.K.

What to do before buying land?

If you’ve decided to buy land, keep in mind that it’s not going to be a short-term project. Buying land is a major undertaking and to begin the process , you’ll need to figure out how much breathing room you’ll have in your budgetfor a new house.

Why is it important to do due diligence?

It’s important to do your due diligence and check with specialists and experts. This is to ensure you’re complying with local zoning guidelines and real estate laws. If you complete all of the necessary steps and make it to the closing table, you can buy the land you need for the home you’ve always wanted.

Who is Amanda Dixon?

Amanda DixonAmanda Dixon is a personal finance writer and editor with an expertise in taxes and banking. She studied journalism and sociology at the University of Georgia. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, AOL, Bankrate, The Huffington Post, Fox Business News, Mashable and CBS News.

Can I buy land without a real estate agent?

These are some of the questions you’ll need to answer before you can prepare to buy land. While it’s possible to buy a house or a plot of land without the help of a real estate agent or broker, it can help to have someone on your side who specializes in working with vacant lots.

Can I buy land with cash?

But if you don’t have enough savingsto purchase the piece of land outright, you can get what’s called a land loan. The kind of land loan you’ll need will depend on the type of land you’re interested in buying.

Do I need a construction loan to build a home?

A land loan isn’t the only form of financing you’ll need. You will also likely need a construction loan in order to build your home. Making an Offer on a Plot of Land. Making an offer on land isn’t that different than making an offer on a home.

Can you buy land that is not listed for sale?

It’s often possible to buy plots of land that aren’t listed for sale. Even if a plot of land isn’t “on the market,” the owner of the land may still be interested in finding a buyer if the price is right. Keep your ears open for situations like these. You may end up with land you didn’t even know was available.

What do you not want to do?

What you probably don't want to do is to call the number on the seller's sign. Doing so might lead you into a situation where you don't have your own, buyer's broker by your side to help negotiate and conclude the transaction.

Do real estate brokerages specialize in apartments?

Typically, residential real estate brokerage agencies don't specialize in different kinds of real estate (for example, rental apartments or single-family homes). However, individual brokers who are affiliated with that agency might be specialists, or at least experienced, in specific kinds of real estate.

Can a real estate broker represent both the buyer and the seller?

A brokerage firms or agent can also , however, represent both the buyer and the seller at the same time.

What to do if you are selling by owner?

If you’re doing a For Sale By Owner, make sure you get a lawyer to help you draft the proper documents for the sale. A lawyer’s help is absolutely necessary in this situation to make sure the terms of the deal are legal and fair.

Can a lawyer help you buy a house?

If you’re buying a home, you may find that there’s a problem with the title that you need worked out before you can purchase. For example, Ferrer said, perhaps the home was inherited, but not all the siblings who inherited it signed off on selling the property. A lawyer can help you negotiate and move forward with the purchase.

How long does it take to close a real estate transaction?

Closing. After you sign a contract in which you agree to a real estate transaction, you normally have to wait a few weeks for the lender to appraise the property and complete the loan underwriting process. On the day of the loan closing, you sign the actual sale documents.

Can you sue a real estate agent?

Legal issues can arise after you complete a real estate transaction and, in some states, you have the right to sue your real estate agent, the seller or even the home inspector if problems emerge with the home after the completion of the sale. If the real estate attorney facilitated the sale, then the attorney already has prior knowledge of the sale, which makes any litigation much easier to complete. While many real estate transactions move smoothly without the involvement of an attorney, people involved in sales that go awry often end up wishing that they hired an attorney.

Do real estate agents have lawyers?

However, real estate laws vary from state to state and most real estate agents are not practicing lawyers. While real estate agents have a broad knowledge of real estate transactions, an opinion based on prior real estate experience and state law are two entirely different things.

What is LandWatch for?

LandWatch is a free online resource you can use to search for rural properties and land for sale. Listed properties on LandWatch include: Hunting land. Timberland.

How to show proof of funds?

First, the seller is likely to want to see proof of funds. Sellers want to see that you can cover the down payment and closing costs. Proof of funds should be on an official letterhead from the institution where your funds are. The date, name of the account holder, and the balance of funds should all be listed.

What are the restrictions on zoning?

The most common types of restrictions you’ll find for zoning include: 1 The type of buildings allowed 2 A specific kind of business not allowed 3 Size and height of buildings 4 Location of utility lines

Why is environmental testing important?

When buying land, environmental testing is as important as getting a home inspection before you purchase. You want to know if the soil is contaminated. An environmental test can tell you if there’s earthquake damage or sinkhole possibilities. Something else you’ll want to look into is the moisture content of the soil.

How much does it cost to remove a tree?

The average cost to remove a single tree is around $700. When looking at land to buy and build on, take into consideration whether you’ll need to clear trees or not. Clearing a few trees might be manageable, but if you need hundreds of trees cut down, you’ll be looking at an exorbitant price tag.

Who owns Smith and Oakes?

“It’s important to have a land surveyor look at the plot of land before buying so you don’t run into any surprises,” says Chris Meinen , owner of Smith & Oakes, Inc. He has more than 22 years of experience in the industry.

What is a title search?

A title search can also determine whether there are any special assessments, restrictions, or easements on the property. Sometimes, a third party can have a right to use part of the property. This third party could be a utility company that has the right to install poles for power lines.

Making sure that all contract contingencies have been met and you're getting what you paid for when you close on your purchase of raw land

Making sure that all contract contingencies have been met and you're getting what you paid for when you close on your purchase of raw land.

Documents to Review Before or at the Land Purchase Closing

Every closing reflects the terms set forth in the purchase and sale agreement. You will want to assure yourself that you are receiving everything you bargained for and that all of the conditions and contingencies you put in the purchase and sale agreement have been met.

Final Walk-Through Before the Closing

Plan to walk the land just before the closing. You want to be sure that it hasn't changed in any material way from the last time you saw it. People occasionally dump trash or old appliances on vacant land, or cut trees, or remove sand or gravel.

Protecting Yourself From Future Title Issues

Your bank will require that you obtain, and, typically, pay for, title insurance. Whether you're using bank financing or not, it's prudent to this insurance in place.

What Happens at the Closing

You can close either "in person" or "in escrow," depending on the convenience of the buyer, the seller, the broker and the bank.