If you're buying or selling a home, it may seem that the deal is a straight forward transaction, one that you can complete without hiring a lawyer. However, hiring an attorney who specializes in real estate law can often save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars as well as reduce the risk of your house deal falling through.
Why you should consider hiring a real estate lawyer
1. A lawyer is experienced in contract law. The average homebuyer (and seller) is not trained in real estate contract law. Not only are the terms used in such contracts difficult to understand, but what is not included in the contract could cost you money. For instance, without a clause that allows you to walk away from the deal in the event of a failed home inspection, such an inspection could cause you to lose your good faith and money.
2. Most real estate agents represent the seller. The vast majority of real estate agents represent the person selling the house, not the one buying it. Even though they are showing you the house, they are getting paid by the seller. Because of this, your agent has, at best, mixed interests.
3. A lawyer can help you avoid any title problems. Issues with the title can quickly kill a real estate transaction. A good real estate lawyer can often spot such troubles and cure them without them killing your real estate deal.
4. Helps reduce paperwork mistakes. Filing the incorrect form or filling it out incorrectly can cause delays and even additional filing fees. Hiring an attorney can help you get the paperwork right and submitted on time.
5. Some lenders require it. Some banks and other lending institutions require that a buyer use a real estate attorney to help avoid filing and paperwork mistakes. If you don't hire an attorney when required, you may not get the loan funding you'd counted on.
6. A lawyer can hold the down payment in escrow. Having a lawyer participate in your home transaction adds a buffer between the buyer and the seller. For instance, a lawyer can hold the buyer's deposit money in escrow (based on the terms of a carefully-worded agreement) until terms of the contract have been satisfied. These could include having a successful home inspection or making agreed upon repairs.
A real estate lawyer like those at Valentine & Valentine PC may seem like an unnecessary expense when you're buying or selling a house. However, hiring such a person can make sure that your interests are well represented as well as potentially save you money.