When do I need a lawyer? - Posted by DaveJ

Posted by michael on December 03, 2002 at 19:08:06:

You will find experienced investors who do kitchen table closings, but you will find far more wise ones who do not. It’s extremely short sighted to do your own closings. Just because one has walked through a mine field without blowing a leg off, doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Many newbies think as soon as I do a deal or two, then I’ll have the money to do things properly. They may never get to that stage. Dumb. Don’t trip over pennies on your way to making real dollars.

Title companies and lawyers are professionals who spent years learning what they know, it baffles me why newbies think they can learn the same info from a few posts or a course. Real estate transactions are not solely a matter of filling in the blanks.

When do I need a lawyer? - Posted by DaveJ

Posted by DaveJ on December 03, 2002 at 17:27:57:


I am a newbie, and I have the following question:

It seems that when I am doing subject to, flipping, lease opion or even owner financing, there is no need for a lawyer to be involved in the whole process, all the contracts can be signed over the kitchen table, and the deed can be delivered at the same time when the sales and purchase agreement is signed.

But I always heard people saying that I need a title company or lawyer to do the closings? I am a little bit confused.

Am I right that I can do the whole closing process without a lawyer? I am in New Jersey.


Re: When do I need a lawyer? - Posted by DaveJ

Posted by DaveJ on December 04, 2002 at 09:05:23:

Thanks Jim and Michael for answering my questions! Now, I think i should get a lawyer in most cases so that everything is done right.

Thanks very much!

Re: When do I need a lawyer? - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on December 03, 2002 at 23:04:24:

I do both kitchen table closes and ones with attorney’s and title company closings.
It depends on what kind of a deal I’m doing and some other issues.
If I’m wholesaling a deal, then I have my attorney close.
If it is a T/B’er cashing me out, my attorney does the close.
If I’m getting a house subject to, then retailing it, or gaining an option and retailing a house, then my attorney does the close.

However, if I am simply signing up a lease option with a seller, or a subject to deal, I usually do a kitchen table close.
However, there is still a title company involved, because we must check title. A thorough search is wise at the VERY least.
I usually only do this with houses that my sellers purchased recently.
Otherwise full blown title insurance is better.
I check title on every deal we sign, and this is a contingencie to walk if the title is not clear.
The seller also must reimburse me if they cannot clear the title issues within a certain time frame.

I would surely have a lawyer review your forms, contracts , agreements etc., for local law compliance, and possibly your procedure for signing them up.
Be sure to get notarized anything that is to be recorded, your lawyer may even do this, and allow you to sign up your deals at their office for a small fee.

As someone else said, in the beginning, it is wise to have an attorney on your side.
Cover your assets as they say.

Good luck,
Jim FL