Real estate attorneys are a regular part of the home purchasing process in many states. Locations, such as Massachusetts, New York, and Florida, require the physical presence of a lawyer at closings.
What if you don’t live in an area that requires a lawyer? Should you still hire one anyway? Read this guide to discover the role of a role estate attorney and scenarios where having this professional at your side is highly recommended.
The Role of a Real Estate Lawyer
The job of a real estate attorney is to familiarize you with the regulations and rules associated with real estate transactions in your area. Your lawyer is there to:
- Help you understand the contracts and other legal documents you’re about to sign
- Assist with zoning issues and home loan problems
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Oversee the transfer of titles and deeds
- Check if the property has legal issues, such as liens
When You Should Hire a Real Estate Attorney
Even if your state doesn’t require you to get a lawyer, you should still hire one. If something goes wrong in the middle of a real estate transaction, you’ll need to get an attorney anyway.
You should consult with a lawyer when you’re faced with these situations:
Large Real Estate Transactions
If the dream home you want to buy is in the millions (or somewhere close to that amount), you’ll want to bring in a real estate lawyer into your conversations. Unlike mortgage brokers or real estate agents, attorneys have zero personal financial interest on the amount of money you’ll be paying on your dream house. These legal professionals typically charge by the hour. They can also establish flat fees for specific services, such as preparing legal documents for real estate closing.
The important thing to remember here is that lawyers will never receive any type of commission from your purchase. As a result, they’ll offer informed and unbiased advice regarding your purchase.
Unclear or Vague Terms in the Contract
Buyers sometimes sign agreements that don’t cover legal issues. This occurs when realtors use standard forms that supposedly cover all types of situations. If you come across terms that you don’t understand right away, you might want to get in touch with an attorney. Your lawyer will clarify real estate terminologies — and have sections of the contract revised, if necessary.
Stressful Purchasing Situation
According to a survey published in HousingWire, approximately 40 percent of Americans say that purchasing a house is the most stressful event of their lives. Additionally, 33 percent of respondents admit to tearing up at one point in the home purchasing process.
If you’re experiencing increased stress levels at any point in the home buying process, you’ll need a real estate attorney. When you’re stressed, you’ll likely have a difficult time understanding the intricacies of a real estate deal. What’s more, your emotions might cloud your judgment. You can end up with a contract that’s disadvantageous to your situation.
Your real estate attorney will view your purchase objectively and rationally. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into and determine if the home truly meets your needs and preferences.
Many conventional home purchases don’t require the assistance of an attorney. Regardless, if your situation presents any unusual complexity or situation, getting a real estate lawyer is a cost-effective approach to preventing unwanted litigation and disputes.