CAN A REAL ESTATE AGENT DO THE LEASE REVIEW FOR ME INSTEAD OF AN ATTORNEY?
There are two reasons that a real estate agent should not—and cannot—perform a legal review of your lease.
The first reason is that it’s a breach of both legal and ethical state statutes for a real estate agent to practice law. Practicing law constitutes the giving of legal advice, including but not limited to the evaluating of a legal document (or lease) and then advising a client on potential outcomes or strategies to proceed. Only licensed attorneys are permitted to give a client legal advice.
A licensed real estate agent is also only permitted by law to populate blank fields on a pre-approved form contract. If a real estate agent were to give legal advice, draft legal language in a contract or perform any other activity that resembles practicing law, then they’re not only putting their client at risk but they’re also subjecting themselves to serious consequences, including losing their license, risking a potential lawsuit, paying substantial fines, jeopardizing the completion of the purchase, sale or lease, forfeiting commissions and risking or permanently damaging their career.
All that to say, the legal implications of an agent offering legal advice is enough to prohibit any agent from doing so.
The second reason is just as straight forward: even if it were legally acceptable, there is good reason to justify hiring professionals with the education, training and experience to advise you according to their field of expertise. It’s the reason CARR strongly encourages clients to hire a real estate-specific attorney for their transaction. Hiring a generalist attorney could potentially be just as damaging to the outcome of your real estate transaction as not hiring one at all. This is similar to why an integrous healthcare provider would not try to practice medicine or healthcare in a field they are not licensed or trained in.