Question: Should I work with a real estate agent or a real estate lawyer, and what is the difference?

John C. Koechel: Well, generally, if you are just buying a home in a normal subdivision-type of environment, you probably are good with a real estate agent who uses standardized forms and deals or closes the transaction through a title company. Where people like myself and other real estate attorneys get involved is when specific issues pop up; and usually in the home situation, it’s something that would prevent a lender from lending the mortgage loan to the buyer to acquire the property, or there’s some other unacceptable issue or encumbrance on the property where the title company won’t close the deal, and those can be tax liens, mechanics liens—things of that nature.