Had a call recently from a potential client in a real estate transaction. His question was – Why hire an attorney? As I explained to him an attorney is a third-party educated, licensed and qualified to advise you in the legalities related to a real estate transaction. Under the laws of the State of Illinois legal advice related to contractual responsibilities may only be give by a fully licensed attorney. Very few individuals have the necessary experience to address the pitfalls of your average real estate transaction and an attorney is as much there to make sure that his legal rights are protected as to help organize all the moving parts of a real estate transaction. The reality of a real estate transaction is complex. Is the property the subject of a reassessment by the assessor’s office? Who orders the survey? Are the assessments current if the property is a condominium or a townhouse? Is the association party to a major lawsuit? Is the title “clean”? Did ALL of the sellers sign the contract? What happens if the property does not appraise for the full contract price? These and a whole host of other questions are the domain of a real estate attorney and that is why I told this caller he needs to retain an attorney for his real estate transaction. For these reasons and many more it is more often than not, much more cost effective, both in the wallet and peace of mind, to consult your attorney to find out more about your planned purchase or sale of real estate.