As a corporate law firm focusing on mergers and acquisitions, Doida Crow Legal has a diverse range of clients across a variety of industries. Many business owners have specific real estate needs that require us to bring in an industry specialist. While many of our projects involve real estate, our our work tends to related to the “deal” between the real estate buyer and its investors. We don’t don the “dirt” side of work (i.e., title, zoning, entitlements, encumbrances, etc.
We frequently partner with legal counsel who have deep experience in this arena. To answer a few most-asked Real Estate law questions, we’re bringing in attorney Elisabeth (Beth) Mankamyer, Founder of Mankamyer Real Estate Law. Beth practices real estate transactions, focusing on residential and commercial purchases and sales and representing parties in for sale by owner transactions, leases and other real estate matters. She has had extensive training in all aspects of real estate law and is proud to provide personal and specialized representation of her clients.
Q: What is the benefit of hiring a real estate attorney instead of working with a broker generally?
A: For most real estate transactions, hiring a real estate attorney to work with you, whether or not you have a broker/realtor involved, is a good idea. Real estate brokers are not, by regulation, permitted to give legal advice and sometimes are put in a tough position if a client is facing a title or contract issue. I can help draft documents, provide advice and answer questions from an unbiased perspective. Having an attorney doesn’t need to be a complicated, overly expensive undertaking, but can provide tremendous peace of mind.
Q: Potential red flags to watch out for in real estate?
A: The words “standard” and “boilerplate” are used a lot in real estate transactions. One thing I always say is that there is no such thing as a “standard” form outside of the Colorado Real Estate Commission forms required to be used by brokers. If you’ve been sent a contract or lease and told it is standard and just contains boilerplate provisions, know that you need to review that document closely no matter what you’re told. Sometimes people pull documents from the internet, use old forms from completely different deals, or cut and paste clauses that blatantly contradict. Never trust that what you’ve been given says what you think it should say unless you read it and/or hire an attorney to help you review and revise it.
Q: What is something that you wish more people understood when buying a property?
A: The importance of the title commitment! Often, if not working with an attorney, a buyer will receive an email with a title commitment and might even be told by their broker that it’s just a “standard” thing and to not worry about it. The title commitment shows you so much and can unveil serious problems with a property that you won’t know unless you dig in. It is always better to know as much as you can when purchasing a property. It’s tough when someone calls after closing after they realize that there is a serious encumbrance or issue with their property. There’s very little that I can do to help after the fact.
Q: What are the top 3 things to consider when hiring a real estate attorney?
A: First, you need to work with someone you can be honest with. If you are uncomfortable or don’t want to ask questions when you don’t understand something, you are not going to be happy with the representation. Second, you need to trust the attorney and feel like they understand your needs. My job is to represent my clients and to work to get them what they want, not what I want. I often spend a lot of time in my client intake conversations making sure that the potential client knows what my role would be as well as understanding what they want to achieve and whether I’m the best fit for that. Last, you need to set expectations with your lawyer and make sure that they understand those expectations. If you are not on the same page of what the attorney is being hired to help with, neither you nor your attorney is going to be happy as you move forward in your transaction.
More About Mankamyer Real Estate Law
Established in 2015, Mankamyer Real Estate Law is a boutique real estate law firm offering personalized attention for your real estate law needs. The firm is focused on legal advice and assistance pertaining to real estate transactions, including:
- Commercial and residential real estate purchases and sales
- Commercial and residential leasing
- For Sale by Owner transactions
For more information and to contact Elisabeth Mankamyer, visit https://www.mankamyerlaw.com/.
To contact the Doida Crow Legal team to schedule a free consultation for your next project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-210-5418.