Larry LaGrotta
Larry LaGrotta
Legal Representation

Buying or Selling a Home, Condominium, or Vacant Lot in Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach and Surrounding Areas

Buyers and sellers routinely ask me whether or not they NEED an attorney to buy real estate in Florida.  The short answer is NO.  There is NO REQUIREMENT that you be represented by an attorney when you purchase Florida real estate.  The better question... Do I WANT an attorney to represent me when purchasing real estate in Florida?  The short answer is MAYBE.

In some states, like New York, you NEED an attorney.  That's because attorneys perform real estate closings in New York.  While it is not required to have an attorney write the contract to purchase a property, it is required that an attorney close the sale.  In this case, the attorney will comply with the terms of the contract, perform a title search/examination to ensure clear title, and execute all necessary documents to legally transfer ownership.  In Florida, TItle Insurance Companies perform real estate closings and attorneys are not required.

The standard real estate contracts and addendums used by Realtors in Florida have been developed by the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) or the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar (BAR).  While it is clear that FAR/BAR contracts and addendums were developed as a joint effort by Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar, you can also be assured that FAR contracts and addendums have also been blessed by the attorneys representing FAR.  Bottom line, both the FAR and FAR/BAR contracts and addendums have been reviewed and approved by legal experts.

To hire or not hire an attorney, that is the question.  To answer the question, ask yourself the following question:  Do I clearly understand the contracts and addendums I am about to sign.  If you are a seasoned investor or have bought and sold Florida properties in the past, the answer may be yes.  If you are not a seasoned investor or have not had bought and sold Florida properties in the past, the answer my be no.  If the answer is NO, you want to hire an attorney.

Selling and purchasing residental real estate is fairly uncomplicated.  In my 12+ years experience, I can say that an attorney has been involved in less than a half dozen of my transactions.  It's your call!  Attorrney fees generally run between $500.00 and $1000.00... not a lot for peace of mind!

FOR SELLERS, I want to caution you about selling a distressed property (short sales and foreclosures).  THESE SALES CAN BE EXTREMELY COMPLICATED.  You need to be made FULLY aware of the consequences of a short sale or foreclosure.  There is too much mis-information on the street nowadays.  Do not reply on what you have heard from other people, including Realtors.  I don't give tax advice because it is too complicated and I am not qualified, same goes for legal advice. IF YOU ARE SELLING A SHORT SALE OR ABOUT TO BE FORECLOSED ON BY YOUR BANK/LENDER, SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY.

FOR BUYERS, the process for placing a short sale or foreclosure property under contract is fairly uncomplicated.  It is the bank/lender addendums that follow the initial contract and ensuring clear title to the property that are cause for concern.  Unlike most sellers, Banks/lenders have legal departments representing them.  My advice, don't go to gun fight with a knife, don't fight an grease fire with water, and don't buy a short sale or foreclosure without an attorney.  IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING THE PURCHASE OF A SHORT SALE OR FORECLOSURE, SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY.

I have included some links below for some local attorneys.  I have either consulted with some of them on real estate issues or have been told by fellow Realtors that they have provided professional service to their clients.  Whoever you select, just make sure that they specialize in real estate and are in good standing with the Florida Bar. 

Daytona BeachOrmond BeachDaytona Beach Shores

Venture Development Realty, Inc. - Team Castle
100 Plantation Bay Drive • Ormond Beach, FL 32174
Larry LaGrotta • Broker-Associate
CELL: (386) 212-1202
OFFICE: (386) 236-4212
FAX: (386) 437-0100