Real Estate Paralegal: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Real estate paralegals work alongside lawyers, helping with any preparation regarding property sales. Earning a certificate or degree can provide students with adequate knowledge of job responsibilities.
Real Estate Paralegal Job Description
Real estate paralegals are responsible for preparing documentation necessary to any case, including real estate purchases or sale closings. This may also include reviewing amendments, leases, subleases or purchase assignments. It is important for paralegals in this specialty area to be able to accurately work on items such as title insurance and tax bills. In addition to working with lawyers, real estate paralegals may also coordinate with landlords, housing managers or other real estate personnel.
Real Estate Paralegal Duties
Real estate paralegals also work with lawyers to complete pending purchase agreements and create closing checklists for all real estate sales. Often, paralegals are responsible for completing promissory agreements, legal descriptions of property and title affidavits. Other duties can include, distributing real estate documents, conducting research, analyzing title documents and explaining real estate codes to clients. Upon the closing of a sale, a paralegal may also be accountable for working with in-house legal counsel to record all real estate documentation.
Real Estate Paralegal Requirements
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are a number of educational paths for prospective paralegals (www.bls.gov). In order to be prepared for the real estate career world, students can earn an associate's or bachelor's degree, as well as a certificate. Related programs include the paralegal certificate with a concentration in real estate, Associate of Science in Legal Assistant and Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies.
Students can gain first-hand knowledge of documents that will be pertinent to their daily work through internship opportunities or mock settlement projects in their courses. Students in these programs can develop skills necessary for this career, including communication, negotiation and document drafting techniques. These programs also cover real estate topics, such as escrow, housing management, real estate transactions and broker options.
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected average growth of 18% for paralegals and legal assistants, in general, through 2020. These professionals could expect to earn an annual median salary of $46,990, as of 2012, according to the BLS.
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