Hire a Real Estate Attorney

You may never be called upon to defend yourself in a court of law, but chances are good, at some point in your life, you are going to want to buy a piece of real estate. While most people rely on real estate agents to handle their purchase, many homebuyers are discovering the benefits of hiring an attorney to help guide them through the process. The question is, why?
Consider the following:

It’s a Complex Transaction

Beyond negotiating the price and scheduling inspections, real estate transactions involve contracts, filings with the county clerk and recorder and personal risk—for both the buyer and seller. While real estate agents may know the mechanics of the process, a dedicated real estate attorney understands the law behind the process. Hiring an attorney means no surprises later, after the sale has closed, and the sales agent is long gone.

Remember Who a Real Estate Agent Works For

Unless you sign a “Buyer’s Agent” agreement with a realtor, they are basically working for the sale of the property, hence the seller (even if it’s an agent that you selected and not the one with the actual listing). This means it’s in their best interest to get the highest price, while working for the least amount of seller concessions. Although most agents are ethical people who want to see the transaction handled fairly, they are only paid when the sale closes.  Accordingly, you want to be sure that you have someone in your corner.

Hiring a real estate attorney means you are their client. They will work to make sure your needs and goals are met, as well as insuring your legal interests are properly handled. They can help guide you through each step of the process, as well as provide straight forward advice on how to handle the issues that (invariably) pop up during any real estate transaction. Their advice isn’t colored by their own desire to see the sale close.

Laws Vary

Each state treats real estate transactions differently. Having a real estate attorney to guide you can be an invaluable resource when it comes to understanding things such as deeds, rights-of-way and variances. A good real estate attorney can also spot potential trouble and advise you accordingly.

You Maintain Control of the Sale

Remember, as the buyer, you are the ultimate decision maker in the transaction. A good real estate attorney at your side gives you an advantage at every step of the sale… from initial negotiations to the final paperwork signing. They can review the complex documents that are always part of a sale, making sure that there are no inconsistencies.  They can also serve as an excellent sounding board—a neutral, third party that can remove the emotion from the situation and provide sound, logical advice.

Hiring the Perfect Real Estate Attorney

The best way to hire an excellent attorney is through referrals—either through people you know who have had direct experience with the lawyer, or through a reputable referral service. No matter how you select your attorney, they should be willing to answer all of your questions, be crystal clear as to their fees and be available as you move through the buying process.

Purchasing real estate is a complex and (potentially) already expensive proposition. However, having a professional guide you—someone who has no vested interest in the sale and has the legal knowledge and understanding of the process—is well worth the added expense.

On December 12th, 2012, posted in: Real Estate by

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