When you are about to make one of the biggest financial decisions in your lifetime, such as buying or selling a home, expert advice is always recommended. Besides just hiring a real estate agent, many buyers will hire an inspector to receive an appraisal. But these aren’t the only experts who are beneficial in real estate transactions. Real estate attorneys can also play an important role. Depending on the state you reside in, they may even require you to hire an attorney as part of the process. Read on to learn why hiring an attorney may be a good idea whether you are selling or buying your home.
When is it Necessary to Hire a Real Estate Attorney?
Besides the obvious, real estate attorneys can offer agent guidance. This can be beneficial for agents to ensure that this process goes smoothly.
Furthermore, there are a variety of situations that make having a real estate attorney beneficial.
Most of the time, real estate agents will take care of putting together the purchase contracts for you. However, an attorney could review the terms of the contract. Agents are not able to put the contracts together from scratch, but instead fill in the templates. This is one of the reasons why the more difficult contracts must be drafted by a lawyer.
Your attorney will need several days to go over the contract before he or she can finalize it. The contract is probably going to be the most important piece of paper in the entire process of buying or selling a home. It includes timing, inspection, and title.
The closing process of buying or selling a home is another time-consuming process, as it takes time to review all documents included. An attorney can assist both the buyer and the seller through the closing process, so as not to confuse either party. Attorneys can negotiate repairs and look over the title when representing the buyer. The buyer will have the chance to go over all of their mortgage documents with their attorney during this final step.
Other situations that may require the assistance of a real estate attorney include:
- You are purchasing a home that is part of a short sale, auction, estate sale, or bank purchase
- You are buying a home in another state
- You are selling your home that is part of a divorce settlement
- You are selling a home that was previously owned by a family member
- You are buying or selling a home that has a lot of problems including structural damage
- You have extreme financial problems and are trying to sell a home with liens
Finding a Real Estate Attorney
Some of the methods for finding a real estate attorney are starting with getting recommendations from family and friends. You can also look to real estate agents and lenders to provide you with recommendations for an attorney.
If possible, consider searching for real estate lawyers near you. Additionally, the American Bar Association chapter or a non-profit organization that assists homeowners may also be able to offer real estate attorney recommendations to you. But, before you settle with any one lawyer, you should interview several to compare their rates, availability, and approach.
Hiring a real estate attorney makes sense for the following reasons:
- To gain peace of mind: Even if the state you live in doesn’t require you to hire a lawyer for the selling or buying process, you may still feel more confident having someone to walk you through the process.
- Affordable: Hiring a real estate lawyer can be a good investment if their costs are affordable. An issue that isn’t properly negotiated could cost you thousands of dollars.