In a real estate transaction, the positions of seller and buyer are inherently susceptible to conflict. This is particularly true when an attorney has a long-standing relationship with one party. A conflict of interest exists when an attorney acts for the seller/developer in the sale of a home and the buyer also relies on that same attorney to represent their interests.
In our practice we see very frequently that investors in pre-construction projects choose a lawyer referred by their real estate agent, and sometimes even referred by the same builder. We have even come to see that the attorney who represents the developer and who is responsible for obtaining project permits and drafting the pre-construction contract is the same lawyer who represents the buyers investing in the project. It is then, as expected, that the client learns that the contract he signed did not protect him and that due diligence on the property was deficient.
In spite of the fact that conflicts between buyers and sellers do not only occur during new home construction, they tend to take place more often when a seller is in a position to offer a "package deal," where the seller takes care of most of the buyer’s expenses. It is common for one attorney to represent all parties in real estate transactions. When this occurs, there is a good chance that at least one client will not receive full representation. Dual representation is virtually always improper in real estate transactions because of the very high probability that conflicts of interest will develop.
That’s why it’s very important that you do your homework and think twice before choosing a lawyer based solely on the recommendation of your real estate agent or builder.
Get Independent Legal Advice in Punta Cana
Our real estate attorneys at Cana Law are here to determine the best options for your real estate transaction. We do not have any relationships with real estate agencies or developers. Therefore, we can work with our clients to ensure their rights are protected and that their transactions run smoothly. If you need legal counsel in real estate matters, schedule a consultation with Cana Law today.