Why Hire a Real Estate Attorney Before Buying a House?
Buying a home consistently ranks as one of the most stressful life events people experience. Not only is a lot of money on the line (for most of us, it is the single largest purchase we’ll ever make), but our hopes and dreams for the future are tied up in it. Home buyers regularly consult with a slew of experts along the way—real estate agents, inspectors, mortgage bankers, title examiners, etc.—and yet, despite the fact that it is a complex legal transaction, they rarely hire a real estate attorney.
Though many people will not find it necessary to hire a real estate attorney before buying a house, there are several reasons why it may still be a good idea.
There is usually a lot of wiggle room when it comes to housing prices. Still, buyers regularly leave money on the table because they are simply not comfortable with negotiating. While many real estate agents are great at their jobs, they are generally paid a percentage of the purchase price, so they have every incentive to close the deal and not much motivation to drive the price down.
Real estate attorneys, on the other hand, love to negotiate. The net savings gained from letting a lawyer haggle on your behalf generally more than justifies the expense of hiring them.
Smoothing Out Title Issues
Title and lien issues can derail a home purchase or make your life a nightmare if they are only discovered after the fact. A real estate attorney can perform the title and lien search for you. If the search turns up any potential problems, they can either help resolve them or, just as importantly, let you know when it’s time to walk away from the transaction.
As anyone who has ever purchased a home can attest, there is a lot of paperwork involved. Most buyers have no frame of reference and are simply told everything is “standard,” so they sign whatever is put in front of them: HOA covenants, inspection reports, disclosures, and more.
While there is usually nothing sinister going on, these documents are important, and the fact that you signed them may come up later. At a minimum, a real estate lawyer can review them and let you know what you’re getting into, but they can also draft new agreements and eliminate many of the junk boilerplate clauses.
Facilitating Complex Transactions
Even a typical home purchase is complicated, but some transactions are significantly more complex. Sales involving trusts, corporations, and other legal entities present different issues, and the assistance of an attorney is strongly encouraged.
Closing a real estate deal involves orchestrating multiple complicated components, such as filing the deed, closing escrow, and delivering the final payment. Having an attorney on your side can help greatly with keeping everything on track and negotiating any last-minute issues that pop up, such as unexpected home repairs.
Talk to a Real Estate Attorney Today
The best way to find out what a real estate lawyer can do for you is to talk to one. Whether you want full-service assistance throughout the transaction or just need to deal with a specific issue, our experienced attorneys can help ensure your home purchase goes as smoothly as possible. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.