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More Homebuyers and Sellers Use Lawyers

You Can’t Afford NOT to Use a Lawyer in Your Next Real Estate Transaction

More Homebuyers, Sellers Use Lawyers

ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 16, 2009 – The Florida Legislature has tried to make it easier through the years for residents to buy and sell homes without the need for high-priced lawyers. But more people these days are going to their closings accompanied by an attorney, or are at least having one review their sales and financing contracts in advance.

Henry M. Cooper, an Orlando-area lawyer recently installed as president of the Central Florida Real Estate Council, said the rising tide of foreclosures and horror stories about deals gone bad have prompted more buyers and sellers to seek legal counsel – up front.

“It makes a lot more sense to do that, before the problems occur. It’s a lot less costly,” said Cooper, a real-estate specialist with the Bogin, Munns & Munns law firm in Orlando.

The 3-year-old Central Florida Real Estate Council has several hundred members and is growing rapidly, he said, as more lawyers look to network with colleagues. The practice of having lawyers handle a residential closing or participate in the transaction is commonplace in South Florida, Cooper said, but still relatively rare in Central Florida.

Many Florida Realtors don’t like the idea of lawyers being involved in what should be a simple residential sale, but the laws are changing all the time, Cooper said, and “it’s getting more complex, not less.”

Copyright (c) 2009 The Orlando Sentinel, Fla., Jerry W. Jackson. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.