The number of homes sold in the U.S. is projected to be around 6.44 million in 2019.
More often, home buyers engage real estate lawyers only during the closing session. While this isn’t considered a bad idea (which might be more affordable), it’s not much safe.
Many steps are leading to real estate purchase. Most of these steps involve documents, payments, and inspections. Now, how qualified are you to spot cons and unfair dealings amidst your home buying excitement?
How confident are you that you won’t miss an essential detail in a document that’ll later mess you up? While hiring a lawyer isn’t mandatory in all states, you’d agree that it’s a worthy investment.
Are you planning on purchasing a new home but aren’t sure if you should hire a lawyer first? Here are eight reasons you need a real estate attorney.
1. Help Analyze your Mortgage Package
One of the main steps to purchasing a home is getting pre-qualified for a mortgage or loan. Before knowing your home price range, your lender must run a pre-qualification analysis.
During pre-qualification, lenders ask for all your account statements. They then use the statements to study your income, investments, and savings trend. Such activity helps them determine how much mortgage you qualify.
You’ll need an attorney to go through the lender’s requirements to prevent fraud.
After getting a house, the lawyer will go through the mortgage package and help you understand the terms. This means that when you choose your loan package, you know what it expects from you.
2. Negotiate Repairs and Costs during Home Inspection
After you’ve found a dream home you can afford, tone down the excitement until a home inspection is done. This is to ensure the information your realtor gave you checks out.
A home inspection can result in either a pass or fail. A pass means the house is ready for you to move in. A fail means the house is not fit for residence or it requires a little repair done before you could move in.
In such cases, your lawyer could advise you on the best way forward. How bad are the damages, and are you able to fix them?
Some options may include:
- The seller may agree to fix the defects and sell to you at the stated price
- The seller may choose to fix some errors and let you sort the rest
- The seller might reduce your buying price and let you fix the issues.
Some sellers are very hardcore and might offer to fix all defects, but in return, they raise the selling price. The upside of using real estate lawyers is that they’re familiar with the buying and selling processes. This makes them fit to advise you on a good or bad deal.
3. Study Title Documents
Some sellers are shoddy enough to try and sell a property that belongs to someone else or the government. Your attorney is, however, there to ensure that the land holding the house belongs to the seller.
Yes, a land surveyor can do the job for you as well. But, having an attorney record such inspections and their results for future references will save you a ton.
There are certain fees involved, including property taxes that the previous owner should have paid. It’s up to your lawyer to investigate and find out such information:
- Has the seller been paying property taxes
- Could the house be violating any property laws
- Is the home under investigation for certain illegal activities
How would you begin to investigate such matters? Chances are you don’t know where to start, and you don’t have the resources to achieve this.
Such illegal property sales are rare, but it doesn’t mean they don’t happen. A realtor ensures the homes they’re selling are in excellent condition and are at par with the law. But why take their word for it?
4. Represent you During a Negotiation Process
Whether you’re negotiating with a lender on the house loan, or with the seller on buying price, an attorney will ease the process. To avoid incurring hidden costs, your lawyer will note and ask relevant questions for clarification.
It’s your lawyer’s job to fight for a deal that’ll be fair to you. It’s also their job to interpret all dealings to you, so you understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Relying on their vast experience in real estate negotiations, they’ll advise you on the best way forward. Not every good offer is a good deal and not every flexible payment plan will favor your income.
5. Coordinate all Involved Parties
The process of purchasing real estate mainly involves the buyer, seller, and lender. Each of these parties has their interest at heart. It’s all about what each one benefits from the sale.
Thus, you need someone who can be a clear mind in the table. That’s where your lawyer comes in. A real estate lawyer doesn’t only cater to your needs, but the needs of all the involved parties.
He or she will coordinate the closing to ensure the process is smooth and the ending beneficial to all. In the case of disagreement, the lawyer comes in to analyze the issue, and advice according to the law.
6. Record Funds and Vital Information
Buyers are always advised not to handle their funds during the home buying process. It’s quite easy to forget the recording of certain transactions amid all the work involved. Well, you can opt for an accountant.
Unfortunately, your accountant may not be familiar with real estate dealings. A real estate lawyer can note unnecessary expenditure. They can handle all payments required and keep records of disposed of funds.
Purchasing a home is arguably an expensive venture. No buyer wants to spend even more money on the wrong invoices.
As the extensive buying process continues, contract edits could be made on the way. Your attorney is in charge of noting such vital information and ensuring they all appear in the final draft.
7. Advise on other Related Matters
Does the subject property have other units that may be currently occupied by tenants? It’s tough to decide what to do with existing tenants. As much as you may not want to displace them, you could also be having different plans for the units.
Depending on state laws, you may find a solution that helps you evict the tenants. Your lawyer will help you find that solution as fast as possible and come to an agreement with the tenants. Don’t try and suppress them; only request them to leave by giving them a months’ notice.
Your lawyer can also help you come up with better alternatives other than eviction.
8. Represent you in Court
Anything can happen before, during, or long after buying real estate property. If a conflict escalates into a court case, the attorney will be able to represent you in Court.
Your attorney becomes a witness to the dealings as well! He or she will be able to testify to the different activities that took place and offer documented evidence.
If a lawyer wasn’t present during the buying process, then fighting the case may be that harder. You may have missed relevant documentation or legal steps during the purchase that’d cost your case.
Therefore, you need a lawyer to take care of these tasks for your benefit.
What to do Before Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
You don’t just need any licensed real estate attorney; you need an experienced one. So before you pick your attorney of choice, ask for references. Try and contact them to hear about their home buying experiences with this attorney.
Explore our website for more tips on purchasing real estate property and improving your home.
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