Jan 8

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney to Buy or Sell a Home?

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The buying and selling of a home is one of the most significant purchases you will ever make. It is a real estate transaction that involves the law of real property and other processes that can be complicated.  A real estate lawyer is experienced and trained to deal with these real estate issues and they can give you the professional guidance and assistance you need in buying and selling a home.

The process of buying and selling a home

In any home purchase, the seller enters into a brokerage contract in writing with a real estate agent. When a potential buyer is found, the broker who acts as an intermediary conducts negotiations. When a formal agreement is reached, the buyer and seller enter a formal written contract for the sale or purchase agreement. From there the buyer becomes committed to financing. The title is examined to be sure it will satisfy the buyer and then  the property is finally transferred to the buyer as the seller receives the purchase price stated in the contract. The process is not easy and will require the help of an attorney experienced in the field.

Practical ways that a real estate lawyer assists with purchase and selling of homes

Real estate lawyers offer legal advice and guidance, which can save you money. The lawyer will protect your interests so that you don’t experience any financial loss in your transaction. A real estate lawyer can help you avoid some common problems with home sales or purchases and save you from problems that could eventually arise. A real estate lawyer will assist in the following ways:

  1. In brokerage agreement:
  • They will ensure that you enter into a brokerage agreement. Without one, you might become liable for paying a brokerage commission, even if a sale doesn’t occur.
  • They will offer advice and guidance on the brokerage agreement.
  • They will ensure that you fill out the correct forms as you enter into the brokerage agreement and if the agreement is a standard form, they will explain the terms and revise it if necessary.
  • They will determine if the agreement was properly signed.
  1. During the course of negotiations:
  • The real estate lawyer may be needed during the course of negotiations. The buyer or seller may have to consult the lawyer for questions such as tax consequence of a transaction.
  1. In purchase agreement:
  • The lawyer will assist in explaining the purchase agreement and the forms used, while making changes and additions according to the buyers’ and sellers’ desires.
  • They will ensure that the purchase agreement contains a carefully worded provision, that it is subject to the buyer obtaining a commitment for financing.
  • Lawyers can review and explain the importance of various document to ensure that the home buyer or seller has real understanding of the documentation.
  1. In title search:

Once the purchase agreement is signed, the real estate lawyer can assist with the title search.

  • In some states and outlying areas where title insurance is not typical, they will review the status of the title and render an opinion of in lieu of policy.
  • In areas where the title insurance is customary, they will help review the title search and explain the exceptions on what is not insured. They will also determine whether or not the legal description is correct and whether or not there are problems with adjoining owners and prior owners.
  • They will also explain the effects of easements and agreements or restrictions imposed by prior owners, as well as any legal restrictions which could restrain you from reselling the property.
  • They can explain any zoning restrictions and ordinances.
  1. In Closing the purchase and sale transaction:

The closing process can be complex to the buyer or seller.

If you are proceeding without a lawyer, your rights may be at risk.

  • When closing a purchase and sale transaction, a real estate attorney can explain the nature, amount and fairness of closing cost.
  • They can assure that as the deed is signed, the documents are appropriately executed and explained to all parties involved.
  • They will assist if last minute disputes arise about delivering procession and personal property, or adjustment of various costs such as fuel and taxes.

Contact Reuven J. Epstein real estate lawyers

The law office of Reuven J. Epstein can assist you from the time you decide to sell a home, right up until time of closing. We have the experience to protect your interest in any real estate transaction. Our firm handles residential real estate matters on a flat-fee basis and offers fee structures with options to meet the needs of our clients.

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