Importance of Hiring a Real Estate Attorney and Useful Tips When Hiring One

Hiring a real estate attorney when buying or selling a home is a smart idea for many reasons. Buying a home will be one of the largest investments you will ever make and you do not want to make a mistake with this investment. While a home purchase may seem like a simple transaction with the help of the real estate agent and all the standard forms that they put in front of you, remember, this is not a simple transaction.

Those simple real estate agent forms have a lot of blank spaces that need to be filled in and then you sign the contract. Never sign a contract for property without the right to have a real estate attorney go over the contract and approve it. Always have an escape clause in case something is not right. Get at least 7 to 10 days for an attorney’s approval written into the contract and initialed by both parties. Any verbal agreements must also be noted and written into the contract and initialed. Make sure there is an inspection escape clause in the contract, even if you don’t want an inspection, get the right to have one.

Buying or selling property is a massive investment and a lot of things can go wrong. When you add in the relatively small cost of an attorney it really makes no sense not to have one. A real estate attorney knows how the contract should be worded, knows about closing the deal, getting financing and current interest rates, and understands the specifics of the sale and they have the experience that you will need to make sure you’re doing everything correctly.

Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney?

The main reason you need a real estate attorney is because the sale of a home is really a complicated process. Most people seem to think that it is easy and a very simple process, and most of the time it is. The bank and title company moves property all day long and it goes smoothly for the most part. But it is those times that something goes wrong that really makes the difference. When you go through a closing for a home, you’ll immediately notice the extensive amount of paperwork that needs to be correctly filled out and then finalized. If you were to attempt to check all these forms on your own, you might easily make a mistake that could cause a major problem later on.

So what could go wrong with the purchase of the home and why do you need an attorney? Some potential problems you need to watch out for are;

  • Does the contract state the property is being sold “AS IS WHERE IS”, no warranty on the property, sold “AS IS” and “WHERE IS”?
  • Is there an issue with the disclaimer form, or did you even get one?
  • Did you get a current survey and is it correct?
  • Are there any encumbrances on the property or is any of your structures over the line?
  • Did you get the right to an inspection and did you get an inspection?
  • Did the inspection report come out clean?
  • Does the house have lead paint, mold or radon?
  • Is the furnace, roof, air conditioner and all appliances all ok?
  • Did the property come with a clean title and title guarantee with no old liens?
  • Did you get the right amount of real estate tax credit?
  • Did you get paid the right amount per day if you did not take possession right after closing?
  • Is the county assessment showing the right property value and taxes on the property or will there be a big increase in real estate taxes?
  • Are there any real estate exemptions that you will lose or gain when buying the property?
  • Can you afford the cost of the mortgage or will you be facing a real estate foreclosure?

So do you need a real estate attorney? Yes you do. There is a lot to check and getting an attorney will allow you to sleep well at night and help you make an intelligent decision.

Tips for Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

When looking for an attorney to help you buy or sell property it is usually best to get a few referrals from the real estate agent, from friends or just do the research online for local attorneys who deal in real estate in the area your buying in. Most of the time your main concern will be the total price for going over the contract and the closing which is usually very straight forward.

I hope you can see the importance of hiring a real estate attorney that will be able to help you sell or buy or a home with the knowledge that everything is being done correctly.