What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do? Understanding the Attorney Review Period

Published July 15, 2023


When it comes to buying or selling a property, there are various legal considerations that need to be taken into account. This is where a real estate lawyer plays a crucial role. In this article, we will explore the responsibilities and tasks of a real estate lawyer, with a specific focus on the attorney review period. By understanding what a real estate lawyer does and how the attorney review period works, you can navigate the complexities of real estate transactions with confidence and peace of mind.

Real Estate Lawyer Responsibilities

What does a real estate lawyer do? The answer is a real estate lawyer is a legal professional specializing in property law. They are well-versed in the intricacies of real estate transactions and provide valuable guidance and representation to clients involved in buying, selling, or leasing properties. 

Here are some key responsibilities of a real estate lawyer:

Conducting Title Searches

One of the primary tasks of a real estate lawyer is to conduct a thorough title search on the property. This involves examining public records to ensure that the property is free from any liens, claims, or encumbrances. By conducting a title search, a real estate lawyer ensures that the buyer obtains a clear and marketable title to the property.

Drafting and Reviewing Contracts

Real estate transactions involve a multitude of legal documents and contracts. A real estate lawyer assists their clients by drafting and reviewing these documents, including purchase agreements, lease agreements, and mortgage contracts. They ensure that the contracts accurately reflect the intentions of the parties involved and protect their clients’ interests.

Negotiating Terms and Conditions

In many real estate transactions, negotiations are an integral part of the process. A real estate lawyer serves as an advocate for their client, negotiating terms and conditions on their behalf. They strive to achieve favorable outcomes, such as securing a lower purchase price, favorable financing terms, or inclusion of specific contingencies in the contract.

Conducting Due Diligence

Due diligence is a critical step in any real estate transaction. It involves verifying the property’s condition, reviewing relevant documents, and investigating any potential issues or concerns. A real estate lawyer assists their clients by conducting thorough due diligence, ensuring that they have a comprehensive understanding of the property before proceeding with the transaction.

Facilitating Closings

The closing of a real estate transaction is the final step where the property’s ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer. A real estate lawyer plays a crucial role in facilitating the closing process. They ensure that all necessary legal documents are prepared, funds are transferred securely, and the transaction is executed in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Attorney Review Period: Understanding the Basics

The attorney review period is a specific time frame during which the buyer and seller can consult their respective attorneys to review and potentially modify the terms of the real estate contract. Let’s delve into the key aspects of the attorney review period:

Purpose of the Attorney Review Period

The attorney review period exists to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. It provides an opportunity for their attorneys to carefully review the contract, identify any unfavorable provisions, and propose necessary changes or amendments. This ensures that the parties enter into a fair and legally sound agreement.

Duration of the Attorney Review Period

The duration of the attorney review period is typically specified in the real estate contract itself. In many jurisdictions, the attorney review period lasts for a standard period, such as three to five business days. However, it’s important to note that the duration can vary depending on local laws and the agreement between the parties involved.

Role of Attorneys during the Attorney Review Period

During the attorney review period, the attorneys representing the buyer and the seller review the contract in detail. They assess its terms and conditions, evaluate legal implications, and may suggest modifications to protect their respective clients’ interests. The attorneys communicate with each other to negotiate and finalize any changes before the review period concludes.

Effect of the Attorney Review Period on the Contract

Until both parties’ attorneys complete the review and agree upon any necessary modifications, the contract is considered “under review” and is not legally binding. This provides an opportunity for the parties to address any concerns or negotiate changes to the contract’s terms. Once the review period ends and no modifications are proposed, the contract becomes binding and enforceable.


A real estate lawyer plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and legally sound execution of real estate transactions. From conducting title searches to facilitating closings, their expertise and guidance provide invaluable support to buyers and sellers alike. Understanding the attorney review period and engaging a real estate lawyer during this critical phase can help protect your interests and navigate the complexities of real estate transactions with confidence.

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