With the Florida real estate market running very hot amidst hundreds of major U.S. businesses moving their operations here, nearly 600 new residents arriving daily, and booming housing construction, not only is the lure of our state’s ideal weather and growing economic opportunities creating a seismic shift in populations, it is also the underpinning of a very specialized high-end residential real estate market.
As one of the few U.S. states with zip codes boasting home price averages surpassing $5 million, Florida’s real estate agents and investors, and luxury home buyers and sellers, are discovering that navigating these rougher terrains on your own is no easy task. Real estate transactions in Florida can be complex, and luxury real estate, even more so.
Because it concerns, perhaps, your most valuable asset, it’s all the more important to have strong legal advice. Your closing lawyer should be someone you can trust. Someone who knows the ins and outs of this lava-hot specialty market, and, someone solely focused on your best fiscal interests. Great closing attorneys are worth their weight in gold when it comes to closing uber-expensive properties in the State of Florida. But how do know which closing lawyer is the right one for you? You can start by answering these simple questions:
1. Is your attorney Bar Board Certified in Real Estate Law?
At this level of investment, it’s most advisable that your luxury-home closing attorney be board-certified in real estate law. Because a certification ensures specialized knowledge, skills, and proficiency in Florida’s real estate laws, you can expect your attorney to be held to a higher standard and demonstrate a greater level of competence. To be Florida Bar Board Certified in Real Estate Law, an attorney must be licensed for at least five years, pass satisfactory peer review of competence, be of good character, ethical, attend continuing legal education classes and pass a comprehensive exam. They must renew these requirements every five years. Only 7% of eligible Florida attorneys are board certified in real estate law.
2. Is your attorney familiar with the complexities of high-end real estate?
Luxury home transactions—especially, those homes selling for $10 million or more—are not like other real estate deals. They are more difficult to appraise, often benefit from extra layers of privacy, and involve more due diligence and red tape than typical home sales. With a legal expert in your corner who is skilled and experienced in leaping these unique hurdles, you can make your buying and selling decisions with confidence, and enjoy orchestrating complex transactions that are stress-free.
3. Does your attorney have the right contacts and know the market?
Your attorney should also understand the nuances and special conditions of the high-end market and have solid contacts who do as well, including home inspectors, luxury mortgage brokers, and real estate agents. An experienced professional with a strong network is your best weapon against costly snafus.
4. Can your attorney offer security beyond a private sale?
Your luxury home-closing attorney should be able to affirmatively respond to those clients who commonly ask for additional layers of privacy because they are more vulnerable to issues specific to their wealth. It is in both the buyer’s and seller’s best interests to safeguard against public disclosure of sensitive fiscal information that can attract evil-doers and protect the identities and details of their families.
5. Does your attorney understand the nuances and subtleties in luxury contracts?
Your attorney should be very accomplished in drafting contracts that are customized for exceptional real estate. Cookie-cutter documents, while fine for typical real estate deals, tend to be broad-brushed and may not adequately protect you, may subject you to higher real estate taxes, and may leave you open to future liability. Because a luxury home transaction is uaually much more complex than buying a typical house, your contract will likely need to be much more robust. An attorney with a history of high-end contract-writing can save you money, time, and future hassles by keeping your best interests top priority.
6. Is your attorney’s law office located in the right zip code?
It stands to reason that when your lawyer is located in a high-end zip code, within a community of like-minded professionals who are already immersed in an arena where financing, sales and regulation of the luxury market are the rule and not the exception, he is more likely to be well-versed in that specialized arena, and will be able to respond swiftly and expertly in matters pertaining to high-end real estate, there, and elsewhere.
If you can answer “yes” to all 6 questions…
And feel socially comfortable with the attorney you are considering, the probability is very high that the person and the process will provide you with the proper advisement and dedicated service most suitable for your high-end sale or purchase.
Real Estate Law Certified Luxury Property Attorneys
The Palm Beach based law firm of Rabideau Klien is one of the most trusted and respected law firms in Florida’s real estate industry. Their attorneys are Bar Board-Certified in the State of Florida and partners David E. Klein, Esq. and Guy Rabideau, Esq. have the expertise to ensure that your assets are protected during luxury real estate transactions in the Palm Beaches, across South Florida and throughout the state. The firm has a fifteen-year history of providing thoughtful guidance throughout the legal processes of acquisitions and dispositions, business formations, and cross-border transactions and their team of attorneys and paralegals has extensive experience in helping clients successfully finesse the transference of high end real estate.
Contact Rabideau Klein to discuss the legal implications of your next Florida property closing.