Some states require residential real estate lawyers to be present at closings or settlements. It is important to note that I stated, “some states need …'”” and not just that you require a real estate attorney. A majority of states are affectionately called “non attorney” states by real estate attorneys. These states do not consider real estate closings to be legal practice. You are not required by law to have one. The rest of the country lives in either “attorney state” or states that have required the participation of real-estate lawyers for certain parts or all of the closing. The clear as mud description of the parts that you require a real estate attorney is “those instances requiring legal discretion and profound knowledge.” This will save you a lot in frustration. Good standing and licensed. There are many websites that can be accessed to check if the real estate lawyer you are interested in is licensed and current. Experienced. The best referral is word-of-mouth. You can be sure that your friend or relative will be satisfied with the services of a real estate attorney. Real Estate Savvy. This is a highly specialized area. It is a highly specialized field. It would be nice if you could predict at the beginning whether yours will be one such simple transaction. You can’t see into the future. Therefore, it is important to have a lawyer who is knowledgeable in real estate law. Local laws and ordinances. The local rules and ordinances can make an enormous difference to the smoothness of your deal. Someone you feel comfortable working with. You should never hire someone that you do not like, or don’t trust. What good is it? If you are unable to trust her information or can’t stand the thought of talking to her, what use is it? It is not brain surgery. You can find many great real estate lawyers with pleasant personalities. You don’t want to work with someone who isn’t able to get along well with other people. Your lawyer will also be dealing with the buyer. You want someone who will work with you and help you to get the job done. How do you know if your state has an attorney? The easiest way is to log onto a website, such as [http://www.legalwiz.com/escrow.htm] which has a list. Additionally, you can contact your local bar association. The use of the term “local” is not accidental. All real estate is local. Real estate laws are also local. If your house is in an “attorney’ state, it is prudent to add a real-estate lawyer to your team. One is going to be required, so get one on the team as soon as possible. Do I Need A Real Estate Lawyer In A “Non-Attorney” State? If you are selling a house in a majority of “nonlawyer” states, a real-estate lawyer may be necessary if the situation becomes complicated. But there is no hurry. Closed mls real estate are typically done via escrow in non-attorney state. While the escrow agent may not represent you, they will usually be extremely knowledgeable and will follow all instructions that you provided when the escrow was established. You can make a real estate lawyer your second most valuable player if you do choose to hire her. A real estate lawyer can help you with everything, from advising on title, inspection, and contract issues to holding earnest money and closing. Remember that real estate lawyers, even in states where they are called “attorneys”, do not make deals. Their job is to ensure that the contract is correctly executed. They may or not be involved in actual negotiations. TIP: Real estate lawyers can make a substantial amount of their income from the title company that they work with in certain areas. You, the seller, will have to take down title. Working with a realty lawyer who has a good relationship with a title company could be to your advantage.