Is A Real Estate Attorney Necessary To Buy And Sell Property?

Are you wondering whether a real estate attorney is necessary to buy and sell property? I have bought and sold multiple properties since 2005 and I have never used a real estate attorney. However, in some states, a real estate attorney is mandatory.

When I bought my second property in San Francisco in 2005, the seller was a retired couple from Texas. They had bought the property in 2004 and decided not to relocate for some reason. As a result, the sellers used a real estate attorney to help them complete the transaction.

At the time, I thought the sellers using an attorney was unusual. The contract was a boilerplate contract I had seen before when I purchased my first San Francisco property in 2003.

Someone with an average level of intelligence can read through the contract and understand all the various conditions. If you didn't understand something, your real estate agent should be able to explain everything to you. If not, you best get a more experienced real estate agent.

Not only do real estate agents have a responsibility to be fully transparent during the real estate transaction, the title and escrow company also make sure everything checks out as well before funds are moved.

There are extensive disclosure statements a seller must provide and a buyer must read. Owners, sellers, and lenders title insurance are purchased to protect everyone. Finally, buyers are also able to professionally inspect a home multiple times before purchase.

It is hard to get defrauded when buying or selling real estate due to all the conditions that must be met before a transaction is complete. However, as we all know, bad things can happen when big money is involved.

States That Require A Real Estate Attorney

Although you may not want a real estate attorney, you may be required to get one by law depending on where you live.

Here are the states that require a real estate attorney to be involved in a real estate transaction at closing:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

This list is subject to change so make sure you check with your real estate agent and your local state laws.

As you can see from the list, California isn't on it. I'm very excited that my beloved state of Hawaii also doesn't require a real estate attorney so I can save on fees. I plan to buy a home there one day.

Some states like Georgia, Massachusetts, and South Carolina require an attorney to be physically present for each real state transaction. Other states with real estate attorney laws don't require the attorney to be present at closing. Again, check your local laws for specific real estate attorney requirements.

What Does A Real Estate Attorney Do?

For those of you who live in a state that does not require a real estate attorney to transact, you might still want one if you have little-to-no clue what you're doing. It's always nice to have a seasoned professional represent you in a major financial purchase.

A real estate attorney's main duty is to help the transaction go smoothly and protect you from risk. The real estate attorney should know all the real estate laws of your city and state.

Here are some things your real estate attorney can do for you:

  • Advise on the state of the property market (overlaps with your real estate agent)
  • Be a liaison with your real estate agent and the listing agent (overlaps with your real estate agent)
  • Help you search for the best property (overlaps with your real estate agent)
  • Negotiate and execute a contract (overlaps with your real estate agent)
  • Thoroughly review the disclosure package and highlight red flags (overlaps with your real estate agent)
  • Thoroughly review any counteroffers (overlaps with your real estate agent)
  • Attend the closing transaction with the title officer for you

As you can see from the list above, a real estate attorney basically does many of the functions your real estate agent or you can do for yourself.

You've basically hired another set of experienced eyes to help make sure you're getting the best deal, that you're protected, and the transaction gets completed.

Where A Real Estate Attorney Can Be Especially Helpful To Buyers

  • There's an easement on the property
  • The property lines are unclear and there have been prior disputes with the neighbor
  • There's been previous legislation with a neighbor
  • You're an out of town buyer
  • There are costly physical damages, such as foundation issues
  • There is an illegal in-law unit and you're worried when the city might end up suing you or forcing you to legalize the unit
  • There are illegal tenants or protected tenants and you're wondering whether you'll get sued for moving in
  • The property has been damaged by natural disasters or is susceptible to natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and fires
  • You get cold feet and want to find a way to save your earnest money deposit and all other deposit money
  • You're a first-time buyer and really appreciate peace of mind

Related: 10 Warning Signs To Look For Before Buying A Property

Where An Attorney Can Be Especially Helpful To Sellers

Selling a property is MUCH more stressful than buying a property. A buyer, with his financing and inspection contingencies, can always back out.

A seller, on the other hand, will feel the pressure of his or her property sinking in value for every day the property does not sell. The more preparation work and money that goes into the home before sale, the harder it is when the house does not sell.

For a seller, a real estate attorney can be helpful in the following ways:

  • The property is a trust sale and you are a trustee, e.g. your mom owned the property in a trust and she passed away.
  • The property has higher than normal liability issues, e.g. structural problems, a cracked deck that was built without permits, etc.
  • You're out of town while you're trying to sell the property.
  • Your property has a lien or a history of liens
  • You're negotiating a divorce and need to figure out a way to equitably split the proceeds of the property sale
  • You are in the midst of a short sale or foreclosure
  • The property has protected tenants
  • You have bad blood between your neighbors for whatever reason, e.g. you cut down your neighbor's tree that was blocking your view

There is an endless amount of things that can and will go wrong when trying to sell a property. If you own a particularly complicated and expensive property, you get more bang for your buck hiring a real estate attorney because it is a smaller percentage of your overall selling costs.

How Much Does A Real Estate Attorney Cost?

The cost of a real estate attorney depends on where you live. If you live in an expensive city like San Francisco or New York City, expect to pay $250/hour and up. If you live in a less expensive city like Austin or Charleston, expect to pay $150/hour and up. You should certainly ask the attorney to give you a ballpark estimate about the total cost.

Perhaps the better attorney fee structure is a flat fee versus an hourly fee. This way, you can better model all your real estate selling costs. Whether you go with an hourly fee or a flat fee, the more expensive the transaction, the more it makes sense to hire a lawyer.

If you end up buying a home with a tax lien or an unknown easement that isn't solved beforehand, you could end up going through a lot of headaches down the road. A real estate attorney might cost you a couple thousand dollars, but can help save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and lots of stress in the future.

Related: The Closing Costs For Buying A Home With A Mortgage

Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Real Estate Attorney

Do I Need A Real Estate Attorney To Buy Or Sell Property? It Depends

The easiest way to find a good real estate attorney is to ask your real estate agent for a referral. Any experienced real estate agent should know at least a couple highly qualified real estate attorneys. If they don't, I recommend finding another agent.

You can obviously just go on Yelp or Google to find a local real estate attorney as well. Make sure to read all the good and bad reviews before making a decision.

Before hiring a real estate attorney, you should ask the following questions:

  • How long have you been a real estate attorney?
  • What is your experience dealing with the type of transaction I want to go through?
  • How many similar types of transactions have you completed?
  • Tell me about a time when your client had a particularly hairy situation and how you helped to resolve the problem.
  • What kind of services are you willing to do?
  • What is the estimated total fee for your services for my transaction?
  • When was your last transaction and how did it go?
  • Who do you know in the real estate industry that I can talk to for a reference check?
  • What kind of provisions do you provide in case something goes wrong?
  • When is payment due?

The best real estate attorneys can easily answer all these questions and more. You should also not have to pay for an initial consult. Just be respectful of their time.

Wise Up And Know The Rules About Buying And Selling Property

Given I live in a state that does not require a real estate attorney and I plan to buy in a state that doesn't require a real estate attorney either, I probably will not hire one in the future.

After doing so many real estate transactions and writing so many articles about real estate, I feel confident enough to conduct a real estate transaction with only the listing agent, my real estate agent, an escrow officer, and a title officer. Surely, one of us knows what we're doing.

Further, I'm not going to buy some outrageously expensive and complex property that has a lot of hair. I'm just going to be a buyer of empty single-family homes in the future. In time, I may turn these single-family residences into rental properties as I have traditionally done.

With regards to buying real estate mainly for income and investment purposes, I'm sticking with passive real estate investments such as REITs and real estate crowdfunding. These types of real estate investments already have a real estate attorney baked into their ongoing fees.

Once you do a couple real estate transactions, you should have enough confidence to transact on your own without a real estate attorney if your state allows. If not, get a real estate attorney for the peace of mind.

Real Estate Suggestions

If you're looking to invest in real estate for more passive income, take a look at Fundrise, one of the leading real estate crowdfunding platforms today. They operate several private eREITs that allows you to diversify into various types of commercial and residential real estate opportunities across the country. Their performance has been strong, especially when stocks are volatile. It's free to sign up and explore.

For individual commercial real estate opportunities, take a look at CrowdStreet. CrowdStreet primarily focuses on deals in 18-hour cities, cities with lower valuations and faster job growth rates. CrowdStreet is also free to sign up and explore. Below is a sample of some of CrowdStreet's past deals.

CrowdStreet Past Deals

Instead of having one concentrated investment with a mortgage, a savvy investor can get broad-based exposure with less volatility. Just make sure you do your due diligence.

I have personally invested $810,000 in 18 different real estate crowdfunded projects and funds to diversify away from expensive San Francisco real estate. To earn passive income while taking advantage of strong demographic trends in the heartland has been huge.

Refinance Your Mortgage Before Rates Go Higher

Finally, if you are a homeowner or plan to buy real estate, take advantage of record-low interest rates by checking out Credible. Credible is one of the leading mortgage lending marketplaces where qualified lenders compete for your business. It’s free and takes less than three minutes to get real quotes.

I was able to refinance my mortgage to a 7/1 ARM at 2.625% with no fees. I have a preference towards adjustable rate mortgages due to the lower rate and the better matching of homeownership duration.

Readers, have any of you ever used a real estate attorney? If so, how much did he or she cost and what type of value did the real estate attorney bring? Are you comfortable transacting without a real estate attorney if allowed? What type of pitfalls could a buyer or seller run into without using a real estate attorney?

34 thoughts on “Is A Real Estate Attorney Necessary To Buy And Sell Property?”

  1. Its great that you pointed out how real estate attorneys could negotiate and execute a contract for their clients. My wife and I wish to purchase a new property where we could start our family together. However, we do not have much knowledge in real estate, so we’ll try to ask for help from a professional to guide us through the process.

  2. Victoria Addington

    Thanks for helping me understand the nature of a real estate attorney’s job. My sister is planning to purchase a new residential property for their family, and she said that apart from a realtor, she’ll be needing an attorney because it’s a state requirement. Since dealing with all the paperwork can be very stressful for my sister, it’s nice to know that a real estate lawyer is responsible for the negotiation with the seller, execution of a contract, and attending the closing transaction.

  3. Alice Carroll

    You made a good point that being out of town is a good reason to hire a real estate lawyer. A friend of mine has agreed to sell me one of her houses this year but because of the lockdown, she found herself stuck in her vacation in Australia. I hope it would be possible for her to remotely hire a real estate attorney so that we can still go through with the purchase.

  4. Victoria Addington

    After reaching my savings goal, I am hoping to purchase a house for the family. Since I consider this as my huge financial investment, I want to have a guide on matters I know nothing about. I like what you said that a real estate attorney can help me with choosing the best property. In addition, they can also assist in negotiating and dealing with other paperwork.

  5. As an investor, living in Florida, where attorney’s are not required for closing, I must say working with a title company well versed in unusual financing arrangements, etc. is much easier than working with an attorney, even a real estate attorney, who is used to conventional resident purchases. I have had a sellers attorney tell me some process could not be done. I strongly suggested he look into it. The day before closing he came back to me and told me I was correct and we went through like we usually did with my title company.

    Attorneys can be quite useful for many of the reasons listed in the article. However, as with my experience, they expect their air of authority to be accepted, even if it is not to my, or the sellers, benefit. It mean the reality was he did not know how to do it that way. Beyond that, your article noted and interesting situation. While attorneys are quite jealous of those “practicing law without a license”, they freely dabble in such fields as property and investment advice. Some of it is helpful and some not so much.

    Yes, I have to admit,I am one of those people who count my fingers when I get my hand back from shaking a lawyer’s hand.

  6. Greta James

    Thank you so much for pointing out that the more complicated a sale is, whether it be because of a short sale or you’re out of town, the more you should consider the help of a real estate attorney. About a month ago, my husband and I started talking about selling our retail rental property so that we could move closer to family. We are ready to put our property on the market now. Thank you for the tips; we will have to look into retail property lawyers that could help us!

  7. I wanted to share a hack that I recently came across, which is subscription to the Hyatt Legal Plan through my employer. I pay only $16 per month and I get access to real estate lawyer services without any co-pay. I can also use the lawyers for other personal legal matters such as wills and medical power of attorneys. (And traffic tickets if you drive a fast car). Hyatt pays the lawyer directly and you just pay the monthly fee. Has worked out really well for me. But otherwise I cede your point that if you’re paying out of pocket, you might end up feeling like a RE atty is not worth it for a basic transaction.

  8. Thanks for this interesting post. I’ve never bought a primary residence in the US. I’m a US expat and have purchased single family homes for rentals but never once hired an attorney. THe contracts were all pretty standard and there is a list of due diligence that I follow. This all does give me something to think about before my next purchase though…


    I had to hire a lawyer when I purchased a foreclosure in Chicago. I paid around $600 for him to review the disclosures.

    Interestingly, the lawyer had some concerns for us when he found out that our unit was located in an abandoned complex building. He immediately warned us if we understood the risk we were about to take on and actually advised against us moving forward.

    We ignored his advice because the low price for the condominium was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My wife and I rehabbed that condominium and rented it to a great tenant over the next 6-years. The rent money essentially recovered 100% of our rehab cost and when the tenant moved out we decided to finally sell it for 150% ROI.

  10. I disagree somewhat with the owner’s title insurance. It differs in every state but from the Massachusetts viewpoint: The insurance companies have a ridiculous 5% payout ratio. Compare that with auto and health (50-90%). A very big chunk of this money goes to the real estate attorney (~50%). In MA it is regulated that only they may sell it, so they are attorney and very well paid insurance broker in one function. Because they get such a big cut of the total insurance cost, there is no consumer competition in the market, the more expensive the premium, the more favorable for the attorney to offer it to the clients.

    In MA about a third of properties are registered land, the rest is recorded land. For registered land, the registry guarantees the title, so title insurance is not necessary, but attorneys still try to push it on the unsuspecting client: “Don’t you want to sleep well, imagine you will lose your house”.

    The whole system is a government sanctioned scam. In Europe most countries registries guarantee the title. That’s how it should work. Title fees may be marginally higher, but in no way in the order of US title insurance. Iowa did something similar and introduced a state sponsored title insurance with a flat low fee. They of course got massive pushback ‘The government want to take away your choice and safety…”. I hope more states can overcome the lobbyism.

    1. Only a 5% payout ratio? That’s absurd. How is that even legal/possible?

      I do agree that EVERYONE getting title insurance seems like an overkill, and that gtting title insurance over and over again seems like an unnecessary cost with each transaction. IF someone did wrong, it should be the onus on the wrongdoer to fix it. But perhaps, the wrongdoer is already dead.

  11. I view the use of real estate attorney the same as buying insurance. Sure in most normal transactions, they are textbook and boilerplate. But in those special cases when things go wrong, the attorney is there to protect you. Unless you are very well versed in real estate transaction, I would not recommend foregoing an attorney. Would you not buy health or life insurance to save a few bucks on the premium? I don’t think so.

    1. Sport of Money

      Also I’m not a fan of asking the real estate agent for a referral on a real estate attorney. I know the attorney has a duty to you as the client but you don’t want the attorney to push through a bad deal just to win good will with a referring real estate agent.

  12. I’ve bought properties in NYC, MA and NJ. All have had their positives but the NYC was probably most smooth. I think having a lawyer, especially, when purchasing out of state is necessary. My NJ lawyer caught a flood insurance issue (all property is in a flood plain in NYC area) when we bought a townhouse in Hoboken and my NYC lawyer was absolutely needed to buy the property from the developer. Developers are notoriously unorganized for closings in my experience.

    My MA attorney fixed a mortgage fee issue at closing (we already paid for it and they ‘mistakenly’ included it on the closing costs) nothing big but around $350, it almost paid for the attorney.

    In MA you can get away with no lawyer by using a bank closing agent or whatnot but I wouldn’t recommend it. Just like title insurance, having a lawyer for a large real estate transaction should be a given.

    1. Sounds like the MA attorney didn’t cost more than $500. If that’s the case, seems like a pretty good deal.

      I guess even with lower value properties, getting an attorney is a good idea because the last thing you want is a lower value property causing you a disproportionately BIG headache.

      Based on my experience, every single overage I paid on a mortgage fee was credited back to me within 45 days. It’s the law, at least here in CA. But I guess many homeowners will never really know exactly what those overages are until credited. Lenders will always charge MORE at closing than less so they can ensure they get paid.

  13. I have been involved in some very messy closings and the lawyer has been invaluable. I cannot imagine proceeding without the professional guidance and back up of a lawyer. Everything blows up the day before closing or the day of closing and the lawyer is the one who has to deal with the mess.

    The lawyer is also the person I can seek damages against if they are negligent in their due diligence.

  14. drplastickpicker

    Thanks for the article! We’ve bought property in various states. I’m pretty sure Virginia requires an attorney because we had to pay for one when we bought a rental there. Score, amazon moved their 2nd headquarters there a few months later! Our property values shot up! I called that one. Anyway, yeah I’ve always thought it was weird being mainly based in california where we don’t require attorneys.

    1. Perhaps in the past, but Virginia does not require a real estate attorney. Actually, now I’m curious. Once you check with the state and see the answer, can you go back to your VA RE attorney and ask what’s up? How did your find your attorney and what was the catalyst for you to get one? thanks!

      1. I am in Canada so rules might be different but..

        Transaction #1 – Owner A applied to the city to build a big garage. It was approved with the condition it be set back further from the road and closer to the house. Owner A went ahead and built the garage in the spot he wanted and no one from the city noticed and so the building was illegal. Owner A sold to Owner B and Owner B’s lawyer didn’t notice that the garage was set in a different location than the permit allowed. It was obvious when the survey and the permits were compared.

        Ten years go by and I am buying a house with a big garage from Owner B. My lawyer discovers that the garage is in an illegal location. This was a day before close. My lawyer let me know that the city had a right to require the building be torn down or moved back. This large garage was an important part of the reason for buying this property and it greatly added to the value. Lawyer for Owner B admitted he was responsible and would apply for a variance, at his own cost, but I was aware the city may deny the variance and I would could lose the garage. I went ahead with a closing after my lawyer asked for a reduction in the sale price and obtaining a written promise from Owner B lawyer to complete the process for the variation.

        The variance was approved so it worked out fine for me but anything can happen on the few days before closing…

        1. Transaction #2 and the lawyer was worth his weight in gold…

          At the end of my marriage the marital home was being sold and we had both purchased other properties. The people I was buying from had also purchased another home. There was a chain of house closures all closing on the same day.

          The marital home being sold was a rural property that had different zoning for different parts. House and one acre was taxed one way. Rest of the property was taxed lower as agricultural land. The day before closing the people buying from us, we will call them Buyer A and you can guess what the A stands for, started pulling some tricks to help them financially.

          First Buyer asked us to change the way the property was valued and to declare part of the farm land as non-agriculture to get taxed at lower rate. That was not true and would have been illegal but their lawyer, Lawyer AH (again you can guess what that stands for), asked for it anyway and we declined.

          Next up Buyer A asked for a price reduction, from the amount signed on the sale contract, because they were being unfairly taxed. We declined.

          On the day of closing, when all of my stuff was being loaded in to the moving truck, Lawyer AH notified our lawyer that Buyer A would not be closing because they had heard the oil tank in the basement was faulty and leaky and caused a hazard. The oil tank was two years old and in good condition and the company that installed it sent the paperwork to both lawyers.

          The oil tank ploy didn’t work so Buyer A refused to close stating that they were denied the right to a property inspection and so the price was based on too many unknowns. They agreed to move ahead with the purchase if we agreed to lower the price. At this point there were many lawyers and real estate agents freaking out because it looked like the chain of sales was going to collapse. My lawyer has a document that Buyer A and Lawyer AH had signed and witnessed. One of the things initialed was that the buyer had waived their right to have the home inspected.

          Now it is the day after the long line of other houses were supposed to close. All my stuff is in a truck and I am sleeping on a couch at a friend’s house. Buyer A again agrees to close if we lower the price. We refuse. This when it gets wild. The other lawyers and the real estate agents are calling Lawyer AH and threatening him with all sorts of things. Lawyer AH caves and sends the bank draft , for the amount originally agreed upon, to my lawyer. Apparently he had it all along but Buyer A had told him to keep it.

          Lawyer AH tells Buyer A what he has done and that it is now closed. Buyer A says that the deal is not closed when the cheque is delivered but when the cheque is deposited. He orders Lawyer AH to stop the cheque form being deposited.

          We are now several days out from the closing date. Everything is a disaster. My lawyer has the cheque but Lawyer AH ordered that the deal is not closed until the cheque is deposited and that my lawyer has no legal right to deposit it and Lawyer AH was applying to a judge to have the cheque held. My lawyer and his entire law firm became involved with this mess. The good lawyers consulted their Law Society and an emergency ruling was made by them. A deal is closed when the cheque is handed from the buyer to the seller or their agents and not when the cheque is cashed by the seller.

          All of the houses closed and I was only stuck with a larger bill from the mover. My lawyer did not charge me for the extra costs involved. Apparently I could have sued Buyer A but my lawyer said it would cost me a lot of money and that Buyer A and Lawyer AH would fight forever and it would be more trouble that it was worth. In the end I was only out $700 extra dollars for storage of my stuff on the moving truck and it was not worth my energy to fight with an A and his AH lawyer.

          1. AGH! So complicated! So much more stressful being a seller because a buyer can pull lots of different stunts. And from what you have told me, threatening to not close the day before the closing date is one of the biggest strategies a buyer can deploy.

            Glad everything came through! Thank you for sharing!

            1. Any time I employ the services of a regulated professional (accountant, lawyer, electrician) I consider it a form of insurance. Their training, their education and experience and their legal and ethical obligations require that they do a good job or there can be legal and financial repercussions for them. Employing a professional protects me from harm and liability and provides me with an avenue for compensation if things don’t go well.

      2. They are supposed to be present at the closing of a property purchase in Virginia. That’s what my property manager told me who I trust. I made money off the transaction and it’s the property that keeps on giving with good renters, so that’s the thing that counts. Amazon opening up there has been a huge bonus. It’s on an acre of land but still near the metro bus, so closee to all the DC stuff. I LOVE THAT PLACE! Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps. I got such a great deal on that place.

  15. Frank Stalzer

    Good article. I have owned homes in VA and FL and neither require you to have an attorney to complete a real estate transaction. The contracts are pretty much boiler plate. Coming from NY where everyone wants to get paid when you buy a house, it was refreshing when buying a home in VA and FL that there was not the needless cost of an attorney to complete the transaction.

  16. I have a situation where I am curious what the best course of action is.

    I have a guest house currently being rented by a couple who has been there for 10 yrs now. When I indicated that I wanted to sell the property they said they would like to buy it from me if I was willing to do owner financing (since there is no debt on the property I was okay with this and thought this might even be a better financial situation for me).

    I had the property formerly subdivided after getting it new property lines placed and approved by county commission.

    I figure I didn’t want to pay a 6% real estate commission by going through a real estate agent. But given owner financing part thought I would need a real estate attorney (my state doesn’t require one according to list above).

    What are your thoughts on this? Should I go through real estate agent and negotiate a lower commission since buyer already in place? Or does attorney make best sense? Or is there another option I did not think of?

    I already have a gentleman’s agreement with price. I may have been able to get a slightly higher price if I listed it but ease of this with current tenant as well as knowing they will be a good neighbor makes me okay with leaving the potential extra money on table (difference would be small if considering 6% commission is through normal listing.)

    1. First, I think you can lower the commission to 4% or 5% at most. But with volume down so much, I would be 3% could even be doable. Something better than nothing.

      Second, Throw all verbal and gentleman’s agreement out the window when it comes to real estate transactions and other big money transactions. It doesn’t hurt to inquire how much a real estate attorney will cost.

  17. This is all good to know. I am looking to invest in a short-term rental property out of state. Knowing which states require attorneys will further help estimate all of the associated costs.

    Would you think an attorney would be needed for purchasing a condo? Thanks for your insight

  18. Oh wow fascinating. I had no idea that real estate attorneys are required in some states. I can see the benefits for expensive properties or those with easement issues etc. It is wild how there are so many different laws and regulations depending on which state you live in.

  19. Hi Sam,

    I really like your blog and appreciate your clear thinking, concise writing and wealth of knowledge. However I‘m a bit disappointed that since March 18 you haven‘t been covering the stock market and I am missing your help on interpreting the irrational developments there. The question „do I need a realestate attorney“ pales in comparison to „how on earth can the stockmarket rally in face of the greatest recession since 1929“. Would really appreciate your wisdom here. Thanks Sam!
    – Tom

    1. Hi Tom,

      I’m sorry to have disappointed you. I will try harder!

      Here are some things that I hope can and will address your stock market questions:

      1) Freedom Is Way More Important Than Money – Published on May 1, 2020 saying I’ve de-risked and sold the stocks that I bought in March and also took some profits on some stocks like Tesla.

      2) Published five newsletters since March 18 talking about my views on the stock market as the newsletters are more newsy and real time.

      3) Published What The Doomer Bears Got Wrong Podcast on April 21, 2020 discussing the stock market’s rebound.

      4) Published Why The Paychecks Protection Program Could Cause The Stock Market To Fall Sell Off on May 6, 2020 as I started thinking about businesses not spending the PPP as intended out of fear of not having their loan forgiven.

      Please let me know what else I can do for you. I thought my weekly commentary on the stock market in my newsletter was enough, or maybe even too much, but maybe not. I appreciate your feedback.

      I really want to focus on real estate now given I believe there is a lagging big opportunity. We’ve already made a lot of money from the stock market given how much it has rebounded. I try to be forward thinking. But I will try and adjust the topics to address your concerns going forward. Also, can you let me know if you did not read or listen to any of the things I’ve produced above? If not, I need to do a better job highlighting them I think.

      Please also share something about yourself and what are some of the ways you have contributed and provided perspective during these uncertain times. Thanks Tom!


  20. I can highly recommend checking your company’s EAP (for large corporations) as I got a free attorney to go through closing with me on my one and only townhouse purchase. Chicago area, they said the cost would have been about $500.

    Good thing, too, as I bought without a real estate agent directly from the developer. Everybody must have been sleeping because the parcel number on the documents brought to closing didn’t match my unit (the original plot of land had been subdivided on two occasions). If my attorney hadn’t have caught it, I guess I would have bought the right to a property that no longer existed…

  21. I think it makes sense to have a real estate lawyer when buying or selling just in case there are any expensive issues that arise. For example, in NY, it’s buyer beware, and it ultimately cost the buyers in one case an extra 1m in repairs when the seller didn’t disclose mold problems. The courts ruled the sellers didn’t have to disclose and ultimately the contract disclaimers helped protect the sellers. While this may be an extreme example, it seems best to take all reasonable precautions to protect such a large investment.

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