Fairfax Real Estate Lawyers
Our Customers Come First.
Your needs are our priority. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, investor, or developer, our Fairfax real estate lawyers will help you achieve your goals.
FAQs for Fairfax Real Estate Lawyers
Within real estate law, what services do your attorneys provide, and to whom?
We are a full service real estate firm. We provide real estate settlement services for people buying or selling property. We provide development services: helping someone with the development of raw land into a commercial, residential building, or subdivision.
We also handle land use, so we can take land from one particular zoning and get its designation changed through administrative proceedings at the county and state levels. We set up real estate holding companies for investment purposes and prepare deeds to transfer property. We also prepare financing documents for both institutional and private lenders that would finance the purchase or sale of property.
What are the top three services you provide to buyers?
- We coordinate all of the aspects of their purchase with the seller, their lender, their realtors to make sure that everything’s taken care of when they arrive to purchase the property.
- We review the title report to make sure that there are no issues on the title report, which could negatively affect the purchaser buying the property.
- We help buyers obtain title insurance, which ensures that if something pops up in the future, they’re fully covered.
How do your services help sellers?
We coordinate all the aspects of the sale, so there’s very little that the seller has to do or worry about. This includes contacting their lender in order to order a pay off or mortgage, working with the real estate agents to ensure that everything is aligned for the day of the closing, and ensuring that buyers are performing on their side.
If issues do arise where there might be a disagreement or a misunderstanding between the parties, we can help to mediate disagreements and find a way forward. We take out all the guesswork, so both parties are satisfied and we can move forward with the sale.
How should a potential client evaluate real estate lawyers and why?
A good real estate lawyer needs to have the following qualities:
- Certified – The first and most important thing is to make sure that the real estate attorney or firm is certified, so they actually have certification from the state bar to handle real estate transactions.
- Experienced – Since real estate is a very complex area of law, you want to look at what their level of experience is. While title companies and some attorneys may hold themselves as being real estate attorneys, very few firms actually have the breadth or extent of experience needed. They often don’t understand all the nuances of real estate that can come into play and can save or sink a real estate closing.
- Service / Inside Knowledge – Make sure that the attorneys understand the importance of offering service to the client. This means ensuring that the attorney doesn’t look at themselves as someone who just picks apart a case and finds problems with it, but rather looks for solutions first. It’s their job and they must always try to find a way to make sure that the transaction is happening.
- Staff To Handle it – Find someone who has a staff capable of handling all of the volume and the issues that happen in a typical real estate transaction. Small law firms with one or two attorneys and no staff typically aren’t as efficient and don’t have the experience level necessary to handle a typical real estate closing in the modern age. It’s important that they can get the job done on time, so other people, such as the lenders, can do the same.
- Technology – Lastly, look at their technology. Do they have the technology or means to make the transaction smooth and efficient? These days, it’s more important than ever to protect the data, information, and funds of the person involved in the transaction. Making sure they have up-to-date closing software will ensure that all the recording fees are exact, and there won’t be any surprises in the end.
What is the benefit of hiring a real estate attorney rather than a title company?
There are definite benefits to hiring an attorney versus a title company, when it comes to real estate transactions.
First, title companies are never allowed to give legal advice to their clients. Attorneys, however, can and do advise their clients on the legalities of their transaction or their contract. It can often help work them through issues that might arise between the different parties: a title company is barred, they’re forbidden to get involved in such things, or give advice.
Real estate attorneys can oftentimes find creative solutions for a deal that’s falling apart, which happens frequently with closings. They also have a level of knowledge and understanding of real estate transactions that goes far beyond what any title company couple offer.
More often than not, title companies end up coming to us for advice and guidance, since we have the knowledge and understanding to make things happen. We have access to the court systems, if title reports need cleaning up or if there’s a sticky situation with an estate. We understand how to go to the court and clarify the title so that things can move forward. By creatively using deeds and the law, we can move things forward or create contracts before and after the closing. This ensures that everyone gets what they bargained for with the deal.
What is the benefit of hiring McCarthy & Akers rather than other real estate attorneys?
There is a definite benefit to using an attorney with experience and knowledge vs. a title company whose firm may occasionally deal with some real estate. We handle a lot of real estate closings and we are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable practitioners in the business. With over 1,200 closings per year, and upwards of 5 per day, it’s also very rare to see a situation we’ve never faced before.
Real estate is second nature to us. With the sheer volume of cases we handle and years of experience, we know how to anticipate and deal with almost any issue. Our firm utilizes cutting edge technology, offers superior service, and is more knowledgeable than other firms. We get the job done more often than we do.
As a real estate lawyer - if a friend told you they were buying (or selling) a house, what would your top 3 pieces of advice be?
- Get an experienced real estate attorney. Not having legal representation and being stuck in the middle of a dispute or misunderstanding regarding a contract can be devastating.
- You need an attorney that will advocate for you, that you can rely on to support you and make sure that you’re well represented and not taken advantage of. Use a reputable attorney, not a title company, to handle your side of the transaction. Even if you’re the seller and the buyer has chosen to work with the title company, the seller can still choose to have separate representation of their own. So, always make sure that you have your own separate representation.
- Make sure that you have someone look at the timeline with regard to the transaction, to make sure that you can actually complete it within the time frame required.