California Real Estate Attorneys


California Real Estate Attorneys

What Is A California Real Estate Attorney?

A California real estate attorney is an attorney that specializes in real estate law.

They may offer legal advice for transactions involving the following:

  • buying real estate in California
  • selling real estate in California
  • leasing real estate in California
  • renting real estate in California
  • property closings in California
  • property tax appeals in California
  • property zoning in California


They may also offer services such as dispute resolution. These types of disputes may arise due to conflicted opinions of property boundaries or contractual disputes between the buyer and seller of any real property in California.

A California real estate lawyer, along with a California real estate agent, can guide you through the process of buying and selling a home or commercial property in California.

A home or even raw land can be a significant investment in California and having the proper legal advice will make this real estate transaction go smoothly.

When Should You Get A Real Estate Attorney In California?

It is recommended that anytime you buy, sell, or transfer property in California that you have a qualified real estate attorney represent you during the real estate transaction and closing.

Do I Need An Attorney To Lease My Property In California?

It is recommended that you have a California real estate attorney provide you with proper leasing or rental contracts. Especially if you intend to lease or rent property in CA. A properly drafted lease or rental agreement in CA can safeguard and provide to you monetary compensation from physical damage to property.

Is There A Difference Between Leasing And Renting Property In California?

Simply stated a lease is normally used for long term contracts for those whom may wish to stay in the property for a matter of multiple months or years. Rentals in California are normally for shorter periods of times such as a few weeks to a month or two. You may think of it as the difference between renting an apartment for a year as opposed to renting a vacation home for a short amount of time.

Do You Need A Real Estate Attorney To Buy A Home In California?

California law does not require you to hire a real estate attorney to buy a home. However, with that being stated, having a California attorney representing you throughout the home closing process is to your best interest.

California Is A Disclosure State.

California state law requires all sellers of property to disclose to potential buyers any and all material facts that may affect the buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property.

Having an attorney represent you at closing may be the difference between buying that 100 acres of pristine land and buying that 100 acres of land that in the past was used as a toxic waste dump. You can download the California property disclosure laws in a .pdf format here.

How Much Does A California Real Estate Attorney Charge?

This fee may be dependent upon the cost of the property and how your chosen attorney bills for services. This fee may also differ depending on if the property is commercial property or residential property.

Two of the most common real estate fee schedules in California are as follows:

An hourly fee : This fee is going to be based on your location and the experience of the attorney.
A set fee : This fee is going to be based on the value of the property being purchased. It is normally derived as a percentage of the sells price.

Who Does A California Real Estate Attorney Represent?

A California real estate attorney may represent either the buyer or the seller.

As a buyer the attorney will review all the documents pertaining to the sell. Being sure that the buyer is receiving what they are paying for clear of all liens or encumbrances.

This is normally accomplished by doing a title search to be sure the seller is the actual owner of the property and has the legal right to sell the property.

As a seller the real estate attorney can help you by reviewing you sells documents and assuring that the financial obligations of the buyer are fulfilled at closing.

When a home mortgage is involved there may be several different attorneys involved in the property closing. One may be representing the mortgage lender, one the seller, and one for the buyer. As you can see real estate transactions can at times be complicated.

Title Insurance In CA

Some California real estate attorneys may recommend that you purchase title insurance in CA on a given piece of property.

Title insurance is basically an insurance policy that may pay you the value of the property if years down the road it is found that the seller did not have good title to the land. More information about title insurance in California can be found here.

Who Pays For Title Insurance In California?

Title insurance in CA may be a cost to the buyer or seller depending upon the stipulations in your sales agreement. Qualified California real estate attorneys may be able to help you with negotiations as to who is to pay for title insurance.

What Is A California Property Sales Agreement?

The sales agreement or contract lays out the obligations of all parties involved in the real estate transaction.

Who Pays The Closing Cost For A Real Estate Transaction In California?

Closing cost may be paid by the buyer, the seller, or a combination of both depending upon the sales agreement. Typically closing cost are broken down into two categories, the buyers and the sellers.

Buyers Closing Cost In California :

Home inspection
Underwriting fees
Title/Deed recording fees
Title search fees
Title insurance
Appraisal fee
Origination fee
Escrow fee
Credit report fee
Attorney fee

Sellers Closing Cost In California :

Transfer fees
Recording fees
Escrow fees
Mortgage fees
Title Insurance
Property taxes
Utility bills
HOA fees

As you can see from above there are a variety of fees that may be involved with your California real estate transaction. However, with that being stated all of the fees above may not apply to your particular situation. When paying with cash instead of receiving a home loan the fees are less expensive.

How Do I Find Good California Real Estate Attorneys?

Finding good California real estate attorneys is not as hard as one may think. You can start right here on this site. If one is not available then reach out to your circle of friends, family members or business acquaintances. If your working with a California real estate agent you may wish to ask them if they have any recommendations.





Michel & Associates, P.C.