Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

A real estate lawyer is an expert on legal matters concerning the buying and selling of property. This professional has extensive schooling in order to know the law inside and out. A realtor is an agent employed by the buyer or seller in order to oversee a property sale transaction. While an agent can be quite knowledgeable, a real estate license is nowhere near the credential of an attorney. In order to have full legal protection, having a lawyer look over this important paperwork is a wise idea.

Property transactions can be complicated matters that require a fine tuned and well trained eye. Buying or selling a house is a huge financial step yet many homeowners make the decision from an emotional position. While a house represents comfort, safety, family and stability, it is also a hefty chunk of an asset or debt obligation and must be viewed through a logical lens, as well. Signing on the dotted line is a big deal.

Some important considerations in consulting a lawyer include:

1. If a buyer is having a house built, it is important to carefully inspect the home buying agreement, as well as the reputation of the builder. Checking with the Board of Contractors will shed light on any complaints or past problems. Complaints or evidence of financial irregularities are red flags and cause for hesitation.

2. Does the contract allow adequate time for home inspections? Adequate time will allow a buyer to be released from the contract should problems be discovered. And one shouldn’t just accept the home inspector recommended by the realtor without question-this may bring about a report slanted in the favor of those who profit from the sale going through, namely the realtor.

3. Exact price and timeframe for closing should be spelled out in the contract. Whether the buyer or seller pays for certain fees should also be written down in black and white. An attorney will look these details over closely so that nothing is hidden or overlooked.

4. What is included in the purchase? All appliances and furnishings that are included must be notated in writing. This is important for both the buyer and seller.

5. Remember that a realtor makes a commission from the sale, but an attorney is an independent contractor who is performing his duties as a separate transaction. A real estate agent may be motivated by his or her own financial stake in the sale, but a lawyer will be neutral about this business matter.

Buying or selling property is one of the most important financial decisions of the average person’s lifetime. A real estate lawyer may cost more up front, but will save money over the long run.

Abraham Avotina

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