Real Estate Paralegal: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a real estate paralegal. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Real estate paralegals work alongside lawyers, helping with any preparation regarding property sales. They need an associate's degree in legal assisting or a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies. Individuals with bachelor's degrees can earn a certificate in paralegal studies with a concentration in real estate. Students can also learn through internships and by taking courses in real estate-related topics such as escrow, title insurance and taxes.

Required Education Associate's degree, bachelor's degree or post-baccalaureate certificate
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 17% for all paralegals and legal assistants
Median Salary (2013)* $47,570 for all paralegals and legal assistants

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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

From 2012-2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected average growth of 17% for paralegals and legal assistants, in general. These professionals could expect to earn an annual median salary of $47,570, as of 2013, according to the BLS.

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