The real estate power of attorney, also known as “limited power of attorney”, is a document that allows a landlord to delegate leasing, selling, or managing powers to someone else. This is often used by homeowners or business owners when their attorney is designated to handle a real estate closing on their behalf when signing all necessary documents. The power of attorney designation may also be used in replacement of a property management contract to allow someone else the manage residential or commercial property. In most States, the form is required to be authorized in the presence of a notary public and/or witness(es).

Real Estate Power of Attorney FormAdobe PDF (.pdf) and Microsoft Word (.docx)

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Table of Contents

What is Real Estate Power of Attorney?

Real estate power of attorney is the handing over of limited or all responsibility of property by its owner. This is common when an owner of a property decides to select their attorney to handle a real estate closing, although it may be used for any situation where someone else has the authority to “step in the owner’s shoes” and act on their behalf.

Example of Use

The owner of an apartment complex gives real estate power of attorney to their son. The son will have the right to sign leases, evict tenants, and perform maintenance on the property. Although, all rents collected must go to the owner unless a separate agreement is made.

How to Get Power of Attorney for Real Estate

Getting power of attorney for real estate requires the following:

  • Owner (“Principal”) of the property who is thinking clearly, not incapacitated in any manner;
  • Agent (“Attorney-in-Fact”) which may be anyone that the Principal chooses;
    • 2nd Agent in case the original agent is not available to act;
  • Real Estate Power of Attorney Document;
  • Notary Public; and/or
  • Two (2) Witnesses.

After the above-mentioned items are made available the principal can begin giving their authority to someone else over their property.

Step 1 – The Property

The property must be accurately detailed in the document. Therefore, the legal description, which is NOT the mailing address must be entered into the agreement. The legal description is known as either the

  • Parcel ID Number;
  • Tax Map and Lot Numbers; and/or
  • Book and Page Numbers.

This can be found at your local town/city or county Assessor’s office when looking up the owner’s card or parcel information. If not located there, the owner may conduct a search of their local Registry of Deed’s office and find the Book and Page Numbers to their property.

Step 2 – Selecting the Agent

The agent selected should be someone that the principal feels they can trust with every feeling in their body, especially when giving ultimate control. If the principal has a last will and testament, it is recommended that the agent be a main beneficiary of the will. Therefore, if the agent squanders the property, there is little to no liability to the other estate members.

Step 3 – Deciding the Powers

There are three (3) main powers over the property that can be handed to the agent:

  • Selling;
  • Managing; and
  • Refinancing.

If there are any specific limitations it can also be added to the form. In most cases, a real estate power of attorney is not durable, meaning, it does not terminate if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. If the principal is seeking to have this option, although not required in most States, a durable power of attorney form should be completed.

Step 4 – Writing the Power of Attorney

When writing the power of attorney, it’s important to review any State laws to ensure that all codes and rules are being followed. For example, some States have a maximum time limit on real estate power of attorney documents while others only allow a durable provision to be included in their statutory form. Therefore, it’s important to review all laws and regulations in regards to the property.

Step 5 – Signing the Form

Depending on the State, there will be specific signing or “execution” requirements that involve the principal and agent signing in front of two (2) witnesses and/or a notary public.

Signing Requirements

Real Estate Power of Attorney Laws

How to Write a Real Estate Power of Attorney

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx)

1 – Save A Copy Of The Real Estate Power Of Attorney

You will require the paperwork available through the MS Word, Adobe PDF, or ODT buttons on this site. Ideally, you will have a PDF or word processing editor that will allow you to prepare some areas of this document with information before presenting it to the Principal. If not, you may access the PDF version through your browser and print it directly from your screen as-is.

2 – The First Paragraph Requires Documentation Of All Parties

The initial paragraph of this delegation paperwork will serve as a declaration identifying the Principal and his or her Attorney-in-Fact. The individual who intends to authorize an Agent to represent him or her in matters of real estate or the Principal must have his or her “Full Name” displayed on the first blank space while his or her “Street Address,” city, and state should be presented on the three empty lines that follow.

The term “…Hereby Appoint” will begin the next portion of this declaration statement where the person elected by the Principal to act in his or her name (or the Attorney-in-Fact) is solidified. The first space after this term requires a submission of the Attorney-in-Fact’s “Full Name.” Naturally, we will further define this entity with a submission his or her “Street Address,” the city where this address is located, and the state placed in their respective areas of this sentence.

 

3 – A Direct Authorization From The Determined Principal Is Mandatory

The first section of this document “Article I. Assignment Of Authority” has been set to enable the Principal to name the decisions and actions that he or she authorizes the Attorney-in-Fact to undertake on his or her behalf. This will be accomplished with the Principal’ s review and direct permissions. The real estate powers available to the Attorney-in-Fact will be summarized across four paragraph descriptions – each with attached to a blank space and check box. The Principal must initial and check the paragraph he or she wishes applied to the Attorney-in-Fact’s abilities of representation. Any paragraph without these items or missing information will not be applied to the principal powers being designated here. At least one and as many as all of these paragraphs may be within the scope of principal powers assigned through this document.

The first paragraph of this section is attached to the label “Sale Of Real Estate.” Notice the wording of this paragraph is structured to give the Agent the necessary abilities to sell property in the name of the Principal but contains two blank spaces. The first must have the complete address where the concerned property can be physically found, accessed, and visited by a human being while the second will require a legal description of the property as it is kept in your state’s government’s records. Once these items are furnished, the Principal must initial the blank space to the left of the checkbox corresponding to this paragraph and mark the checkbox if and only if he or she is intent of delivering the powers defined to the Attorney-in-Fact. Otherwise, this paragraph should be left unattended so that it remains inapplicable to the Agent’s powers.

The “Purchase Of Real Estate” statement will act in a similar manner as the one above however, this statement defines the abilities necessary to purchase property on behalf of the Principal and will authorize these abilities for the Attorney-in-Fact’s use. For this statement to be included with the powers being delivered to the Attorney-in-Fact with this paperwork the address of the physical and actual location of the property being discussed must be input on the line after the words “…Premises Located At” and the state’s legal description must be supplied on the line after this. The Principal must initial the blank line and check the box preceding this statement to include it with this designation of principal power.

If the Principal wants the Attorney-in-Fact to manage a property in his or her name then, the third statement (“Management Of Real Estate”) must be used in this document. The physical location where the property can be entered or viewed must be supplied to the first blank line in the sentence provided and its legal description documented on the line after this. After this information has supplemented this statement, the Principal may initial and check the corresponding blank line and check box at its beginning. Only this action will deliver these abilities.

Finally, if the Attorney-in-Fact should be able to refinance a property on behalf of the Principal then the last paragraph in this section must be furnished with the complete physical address of the concerned property and its legal description on the first and second empty lines of this sentence (respectively). Only the Principal may apply this power to this document by initialing the blank space to the left of the bold word “Refinancing” then marking the attached checkbox.

4 – The Principal Must Define The Term Of This Delegation Of Authority

The third article will be the next one that must be supplemented with information and attended to by the Principal named in this document. Find the heading “Article III. Term.” One of the statements in this area must be filled out and possess the Principal’s direct authorization. All the statements in this section will define the start date of principal power as being this paperwork’s execution date. The first statement will allow you to enter an exact date the principal powers will terminate, the second will name these powers as active until the Principal is incapacitated, passes away, or revokes them, while the third will set these powers to stay in effect until the Principal dies or revokes this document. Notice in the example below these powers will remain in effect for six months from the signature date.

 

5 – Define The Location And Date Of This Document’s Power And Execution

The section under the heading “Article V. Governing Law” will act as a way to solidify where the Attorney-in-Fact’s principal powers were delivered, and which state will hold these parties accountable to the contents of this document after is signed. Report this state on the blank line after the words “…The Laws Of The State Of”

The final article of this power document is “Article VI. Revocation.” This section is where this document will report when it becomes effective, offer proof of each party’s intent, and verification of this intent. The last sentence contains the blank lines that should be used to name the effective date of the appointment of principal power discussed above. It must be submitted to this statement as a two-digit calendar date, the full name of the month, and the two-digit year in this statement.

The Principal should set aside some time to review the final contents for accuracy. If the contents define the Principal’s intentions accurately, then he or she must sign the blank space “Principal’s Signature.” This signature should be accompanied with the printed name of the Principal on the adjacent line “Print Name.”

The Attorney-in-Fact that will act on the Principal’s behalf should also be allowed a reasonable amount of time to read this document. If he or she agrees to the contents defined above then, the Attorney-in-Fact must sign the “Agent’s Signature” line then print his or her name on the adjacent “Print Name” line.

Two Witnesses will need to be in attendance at the time of the Principal and the Attorney-in-Fact’s signing. Each one will need to observe these Signature Parties execute this appointment then attend to a unique Witness statement (“Affirmation By Witness 1” and “Affirmation By Witness 2”). Each of these statements will need the full name of the Signature Witness supplied to the first blank line. The Witness must then sign and print his or her name.

The “Notary Acknowledgement” page is for the use of the Notary Public who intends to submit this document to the notarization process.

In addition to executing this document, the Attorney-in-Fact will need to formally accept the responsibilities being placed on him or her. This task will be accomplished on the “Acceptance By Agent” page where the Attorney-in-Fact must read the statement provided, then sign and print his or her name.