Real Estate Attorney vs. Agent: Understanding Their Role in Real Estate Matters

Buying a home is a major decision, so you do extensive research to ensure a smooth process. You may be asking yourself if you need a real estate attorney or a real estate agent. Here's a look at the differences so you can decide on what type of real estate professionals to work with. Here's real estate attorney vs. agent facts:

Real estate attorney vs. agent: Key takeaways

Real Estate Attorney


Real Estate Agent

  • Has studied and practiced real estate law and can help in legal scenarios

Real Estate Matters

  • Helps you find the home of your dreams as well as represent you in the negotiating process
  • Reviews the terms of a contract and can sometimes play the role of negotiator

Real Estate Sale/Purchase

  • Helps make the sale more competitive
  • Makes sure all the necessary steps are taken during the court proceedings

Real Estate Proceedings

  • Ensures fail dealings between home buyers and sellers
  • Paid on an hourly basis

Payment Method

  • Paid on a commission basis

Real estate attorney vs. agent: Understanding their role

real estate attorney vs. agent
  • When to Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you find the home of your dreams as well as represent you in the negotiating process. The two main types of real estate agents are those that specialize in buying and those that specialize in selling. Agents that sell homes work with other agents trying to find the highest bidder. Working with an experienced real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the neighborhood can help make the sale more competitive.

  • When to Hire a Real Estate Attorney

In some cases, you may elect to work with a real estate attorney instead of a buying or selling agent. There are also times when you are better off working with both. A real estate attorney has studied and practiced real estate law and can help in legal scenarios. Most states do not require legal assistance when purchasing or selling a home.

You may still need to use an attorney for a variety of other scenarios. If you want to evict a tenant, for example, an attorney can help investigate and collect facts on the tenant. Another reason to hire a real estate attorney is to review the terms of a contract. In some situations, the lawyer can play the role of negotiator.

  • What to Expect from an Attorney

Real estate attorneys are paid per hour and rates vary. Some attorneys charge flat fees for specific services, which is helpful if you plan on representing yourself. Court proceedings can be complex, which is why it helps to be represented by an experienced attorney who makes sure all the necessary steps are taken. Make sure you have a clear understanding of writing how you will pay the attorney.


Gather information and evaluate the type of assistance you'll need before deciding on a real estate agent, attorney or both. An agent who has a network of many contacts can help you buy or sell a home. Hire a real estate attorney in Boulder, Colorado when you need to deal with issues beyond transactions.

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Keating and Lyden

Keating & Lyden LLC was founded by attorneys-at-law, Robert J. Keating, and Thomas P. Lyden and is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Bellingham, Washington. The attorneys specialize in providing legal advice in real estate matters to businesses and individuals pertaining to real estate management and operation including: tenancy in common agreements, partition agreements, real estate financing, homeowner’s associations and land use issues. They also provide the highest quality legal services to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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