Finding an Expert to Review a Real Estate Contract
For anyone, looking at a real estate document for the first time can be a scary experience. From a new terminology, to trying to interpret local laws and regulations, it's common to want a second opinion from an expert. We will look at some of the options available for real estate investors when it comes to reading and understanding contracts.
Finding the best resource for real estate contract reviews
Whether you're a buyer, seller or even an agent, it's always nice to have the peace of mind that comes from a professional helping you to read and interpret real estate contracts. It may be for the purchase of a home, assigning certain real estate rights, or just leasing real estate.
So, what options do you have when you want a contract reviewed?
- LegalZoom - LegalZoom is well known for its legal services, which includes legal document review of real estate contracts. They offer a one-time review of legal documents by an attorney in their system. How much does LegalZoom real estate contract review cost? Well, the one-time fees start at $40 and go up quickly from there. The catch is that real estate contract reviews are only available if you are already a "business advisory plan" member, which costs at least $470 a year. If you only want one or two real estate contracts looked at a year, this may be more expensive than just hiring your own local attorney.
- Freelance Attorney - For those more comfortable with direct access to a single local attorney, there are a number of freelance marketplaces that offer real estate document review services. Upwork is the largest, and others like Contracts Counsel are specific to legal freelancers. If, for instance, you have a purchase contract for a house in one state, but live in another, finding a qualified local legal professional can be helpful. But using freelance attorneys to review contracts can be risky and expensive. It's often hard to qualify experience and legal knowledge based on a freelancers profile on a website. Most freelance attorneys also charge by the hour to look at real estate documents, so it can become rather expensive, especially if it is not clear what you want covered in your review.
- Level On Demand - At Level, we source and qualify real estate attorneys, brokers and advisors who have at least ten years of experience reading and understanding real estate documents. Level On Demand offers simple pricing starting at $39 for a professional review of any real estate contract, which includes looking for mistakes as well as noting any potential issues or things to consider.
Does an attorney need to review your real estate contract?
Since each state promulgates their own real estate forms, for brokers and agents to use, and with other companies like LegalZoom offering templated contracts for individual use, attorneys jobs are made easier than they used to be.
When considering if you really need to hire an attorney to review your real estate contracts, it comes down to personal preference, knowledge and cost. Anyone who has been party to at least one real estate transaction may feel like the expansive hourly fees they pay to attorneys just aren't quite cost effective. We believe at Level On Demand, that getting a second opinion on a contract for a small fee is a great first step, before making the jump to hiring an attorney. We know real estate deals move fast, and that's why we usually are able to fully review your contract and return it to you within 24 hours.