Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney to Buy or Sell a House?

When making one of the biggest purchases of your life, it’s best to be well prepared.  If you’re not attentive to the details throughout the buying and selling process, you sometimes become aware of problems or missed opportunities when it is too late. Having a real estate attorney on your team sets you up for greater success. 

Staying on top (and a step ahead) of the process will allow you to forgo unsettling and costly doubts and regrets. It often takes years of hard work to accomplish home ownership, so it is worth putting together the right team of experienced professionals to advise and advocate for you. 

What’s the Difference? Real Estate Attorney vs. Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent helps you buy and sell a house. This includes services such as providing guidance and information about neighborhoods, pricing a home, negotiating for repairs, and understanding a comparative market analysis. However, a real estate agent is not allowed or qualified to provide legal advice. For example, if you sign a purchase contract and later wonder — can I cancel my contract and get my deposit back? It is best to ask that question before signing and to have it answered by a real estate attorney. 

A real estate attorney practices real estate law and helps you at various stages — from creating or reviewing real estate contracts to providing legal advice and helping you understand your legal protections as a buyer or seller. In addition, a real estate attorney educates you about your rights when it comes to inspections, title documents, construction addendums, and more to avoid the pitfalls of not knowing what you don’t know.

Purchase Contracts

When a purchase contract and offer on a home are presented, a real estate agent typically uses a template. A real estate attorney can review the documents for the buyer or seller to ensure all legal requirements are met, accurate, and in your best interest. Additionally, if your real estate transaction involves special circumstances or condiitons, a real estate attorney can draft a customized contract tailored to your needs. Purchase contracts include terms such as the buyer’s offer, financing, closing information, inspections, and when the contract can be voided.

Real Estate Inspections and Repairs

Home inspections are vital. They’re performed before to closing and in new construction at various stages of the build. They can identify issues with a property that need to be addressed, and real estate attorneys can assist a buyer or seller regarding repair specifications and cost negotiations. An attorney can also be helpful when determining if inspection findings allow a buyer to void their purchase offer. In addition, a real estate attorney can assist buyers with legal aspects related to construction and remodeling projects.  

Titles and Closings

It’s time to close on your home — but what if a last-minute snag is discovered, such as a property lien? An attorney will research the lien and help buyers and sellers through the process of removing it. They will also ensure that the property’s title insurance covers potential issues that can arise.  

In a home, memories are made, shared, and passed on to future generations. Whether buying or selling, ensure that your valuable investment and real estate transactions are strategic, smooth, and smart. Buying and selling can be positive, and you can feel confident after closing, especially when you have a team supporting you, including a real estate agent, inspector, and real estate attorney. Be proactive and talk with MLG’s experienced real estate attorneys today.

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