What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?
A real estate attorney provides legal advice and representation to clients involved in real estate transactions. Their services include reviewing and drafting contracts, leases, and purchase agreements, as well as advising clients on legal matters related to real estate. They are also responsible for conducting due diligence on properties, settling disputes concerning real estate, and representing clients in court.
In order to be successful as a real estate attorney, these professionals should possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and be able to work independently and collaboratively. A solid understanding of real estate law, including zoning, land use regulations, and property rights, is also essential for realtors.
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National Average Salary
Real estate attorney salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Real Estate Attorney is:
Real Estate Attorney Job Descriptions
Crafting the perfect job description may be the key to finding an exceptional real estate attorney. To help you with your recruiting search, our team has put together some examples from past openings.
Real estate attorneys are lawyers who specialize in the legal aspects of real estate transactions. They prepare and review legal documents relating to real estate, negotiate the terms and conditions of real estate transactions, and facilitate the transfer of titles. Real estate attorneys should have excellent negotiation and analytical skills, exceptional decision-making abilities, and solid research skills. [Your Company Name] is hiring an experienced real estate attorney. As an ideal candidate, you have experience handling clients’ legal risks in real estate transactions, as well as ensuring compliance with real estate laws and regulations.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Advise and counsel clients on real estate matters, including sales transactions, disputes, zoning, subdivision, and frauds involving real estate disclosures or mortgages
- Litigate real estate disputes in court if necessary
- Draft sales and transfer of title contracts
- Write and file claims, motions, and court briefs
- Negotiate real estate agreements
Education and experience
This position requires a Juris Doctorate as well as a license to practice law in the state where the candidate will work.
Employers prefer candidates who have taken college coursework in business law, real estate law, and related topics, and completed internships with real estate law firms.
Required skills and qualifications
- Expertise in written and verbal communication
- Knowledge of state and federal laws regarding transfer and sale of real property
- Research skills
- Analytical thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Litigation experience
- Five years to ten years of commercial real estate experience
- Experience working on commercial real estate transactions
- Excellent organizational and drafting skills
ABC Company, a mid-sized law firm in (City), is seeking an Illinois-licensed real estate attorney with 6 to 8 years of experience handling transactions for industrial, commercial, and multi-family use real estate. Transactions would concern primarily lease negotiations, representing clients in the acquisition and disposition of real estate, site selection and acquisition due diligence, title and survey examination, addressing zoning, land use and land entitlement issues, negotiating economic development incentives, property development and new construction, real estate financing, among other responsibilities.
- Active license to practice law in (State)
- 6 to 8 years of commercial real estate experience at a law firm
- Juris Doctor from an accredited law school
- Superior verbal and written communication skills
- Thorough understanding of applicable laws
- Strong research, analytical and problem-solving skills
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
- Flexible and adaptable with the ability to multitask
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Excellent time management skills with proven ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate them when appropriate
- Able to work independently in a fast-paced work environment
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
The Transactional Law Attorney will oversee the legal aspects of transactional legal matters and will be expected to manage and grow the book of business for the Jackson Office. Areas of practice include successions, estate planning, business law, real estate law and, contracts.
- Conduct consultations in relevant areas of the law
- Conduct real estate closings
- Draft legal documents and pleadings
- Manage the existing book of business
- Build new client relationships
- Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations in relevant areas of the law
- Draft routine leases and amendments
- Ensure that appropriate approvals are in place before transactions are executed
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Ability to act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality
- Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, Excel, and other related software programs
Education and experience:
- Active Bar License in Good Standing for the (State)
- A minimum of three years of relevant legal experience and adequate industry knowledge
This position acts as a liaison to senior level airport administration, staff and select off-airport property owners to monitor, evaluate and maintain ongoing operational rights and obligations and the VP Real Estate. Negotiates, drafts, reviews, and revises all operating agreements and real estate leases for operating locations. Provides industry leadership in promoting and negotiating operational efficiency and goals with airports. Responsibilities extend beyond initial completion of the business deal, including the resolution of all disputes during the term of the agreements. This position engages in coordination with the company’s facilities department, and outside counsel or consultants to assist in completion of specific construction projects as necessary. Essential duties and responsibilities, shown below, will vary accordingly based on assignment.
- Attends airport meetings regarding operating rights, methods of operation, policy and planning at particular airports
- Drafts and reviews operating agreements/leases, which give the company the legal right to operate and/or use space at airports
- Prepares detailed responsive submissions to those airports, which require a Bid, Tender, RFP, or Expression of Interest
- Attends public hearings of municipal boards and airport authorities when necessary to obtain approvals and/or advocate planning and policy issues
- Issues Real Estate abstracts on all properties and advises company personnel on issues of interpretation and administration of legal agreements
- Negotiates leases, acquisitions or dispositions of non-airport and airport used for urban operations and support functions
- Directs and supervises local company financial, legal, and other consultants in local jurisdictions and attends court proceedings when necessary
- Assists in acquisition or disposition of franchise operations with regard to airport/real estate issues
- Attends conferences and stays current with industry standards
- Juris Doctorate is required
- 2 to 3 years experience with real estate and government matters
Skills and abilities:
- Extensive understanding of real estate law and real estate values
- Extensive understanding of governmental procurement procedures
- General knowledge of the local government operations
- Proficient in Microsoft Office applications
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Ability to write clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing
- Excellent analytical ability and attention to detail
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Board-Certified for Real Estate Law. A number of states offer a specialized certification in real estate law. The requirements are particular to each state. The minimum standards for certification include being a member in good standing in the state bar and a certain number of years practicing law in the US. The exams are generally written tests that demonstrate special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in real estate law.
- Master of Laws (LLM) in Real Estate. Most colleges of law offer Master of Laws (LLM) in Real Estate and certificates in real estate to practicing attorneys. The programs don’t require earning a master’s degree, but it is beneficial. And can lead to more career opportunities. The programs normally include courses in commercial real estate, real estate in federal tax law, and real estate finance. Electives such as affordable housing, construction law, historic preservation law, and real estate litigation are helpful.
Sample Interview Questions
- As a real estate attorney, what types of legal issues have you encountered when representing clients in real estate transactions?
- When it comes to real estate law, including property rights, zoning, and land use regulation changes, how do you keep up with the latest developments?
- During real estate transactions, how do you protect the confidentiality and privacy of your clients?
- How do you ensure that non-legal audiences understand the complex legal concepts you communicate to them?
- How did you contribute to the success of a real estate transaction that you are particularly proud of?
- Are there any strategies you have found to be most effective for resolving disputes relating to real estate?
- What role did you play in a real estate litigation case you worked on?
- Would you describe your experience working with realtors, appraisers, and lenders as part of a real estate transaction?
- How do you ensure that your client is fully informed about potential issues or risks when conducting due diligence on a property?
- How do you ensure that contracts, leases, and purchase agreements are accurate and legally sound? Do you have experience reviewing and drafting legal documents?