Attorney For Lease Option Closings?

5 Replies

Could anyone refer me to a good attorney that can handle wholesale and lease option closings? Multi-state capable preferred. 

Hmmmm? L/Os are not closed as a real estate transaction, title doesn't pass, you have a lease to take possession of the property, with tenant's rights, the option is simply a contract that gives you the right to purchase over the term of the option.

You don't need an attorney to "close" either of these agreements, you should have your option, rather, a notice of option, recorded in the property records applicable to the subject property. Sending it to a title company can usually take care of filings or you can mail it yourself to the Recorder's Office.

I'd also suggest you call that office to find out their filing requirements, they can be very specific, type size, font, margin requirements and space for recording stamps, otherwise they may reject the filing request. If you use a notice of option, make sure it includes the date the option expires too as it can cloud title after it expires and you can have issues with that if you file it, like filing a false lien if you don't release it.

Please drop back to the non-guru basic RE education materials so you have a better understanding of what an option is, why it's not a closing, but simply a contract, it will save you a ton of money doing so. If you had gotten an attorney, they would certainly do it, but at a price and they aren't even required for a L/O, especially before trying to operate out of state. :)

Bill G.

I love reading your comments. Thanks for adding value to the forum.

I have, in the past, been contracted to give an opinion for someone purchasing via L/O. It seemed shady to me at the time because the option contract was a one paragraph bundle of prose on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. In the end, the option was also for a figure appx 125% of what any reasonable person would construe as market value - based on sold comps. The income and cost approaches yielded an even wider margin.

Gurus aside, I think it's a fair question. Finding good educational resources on the nuts and bolts can be challenging. I use Appraisal Institute material but value is only one portion of the transaction. My wife, as an MD, sometimes compares real estate to surgery - sure, you can study for it, but you don't really understand anything until you start cutting.

To the OP. Contact an MAI in your area and ask for a reference to a good real estate attorney who negotiates contracts. That should get you started.

Thank you Mark.

Yes, we have a wholesale guru here who was suggesting doing a contract on a yellow pad, didn't have the legal description, had names and telephone numbers, total garbage.

Newbies need to see an attorney before they start using any contract in RE, at least ask a title company agent or Realtor, someone familiar with local contract requirements.

If you're doing a commercial transaction, I agree that having an attorney in the negotiation would be wise, for a residence it's not necessary, you could pay a Realtor a flat fee if you really need help on a residence. After doing one, you should be able to negotiate an option on a residence and if not, might consider doing something else, saying it's elementary in RE investing. You get better the more you do. :)

Bill thanks for your advice!

If I use a Realtor to facilitate as you suggest, what is the best way for them to get paid on a lease option deal?

Thanks again!

How do you deal with sellers who have a real estate agent already but want to do a L/O??

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