Four Reasons It’s Cheaper to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

People who are starting down the complicated road of real estate transactions often wonder if they will need a real estate attorney to get to closing. People on the buyer’s side often wonder if they can simply trust their real estate agent and avoid the additional cost of a legal expert. Although each state has different requirements, here are four universal reasons why having an attorney guide you through your real estate deal may ultimately be more profitable.

1. You are an out of town buyer

Buying a home when you’re out of town and unfamiliar with the local rules and customs of your new city can be overwhelming. Once you find your dream home, a real estate attorney can be essential in negotiating and executing the contract, helping you find the best mortgage and closing the mortgage as well. Errors that occur during the purchase process always have the potential to result in the loss of your deposit and could even result in you incurring substantial legal fees if litigation ensues.

2. You are in a hurricane, flood, or tornado zone

If you are in a hurricane, flood or tornado zone, you may need an attorney to guide you through the terms of any required supplemental property insurance. The number of forms that need to be signed when you buy a home can be overwhelming, and if you’re not careful, you may miss something important. For example, in some cases you may be required to purchase supplemental homeowners insurance, such as flood insurance. Hiring someone with legal experience can help you avoid confusion that could derail your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

3. The land is owned by the bank

If you’re trying to buy something that’s owned by a bank, you might be excited by the prospect of getting a good deal, but contract negotiations can be long and complex. An attorney can be essential during these negotiations and to ensure that the house you are looking for is competitively priced. Also, bank-owned homes are generally sold “as is” and may have defects that would be costly to repair. Working with legal counsel can help you research the bank’s price, as well as possible costs related to repairs.

4. Property Has Exterior Improvements

If the home you are looking for has had improvements to the lot, such as a pool, fence, garage, or outdoor shed, it may be necessary to have a real estate attorney review the deed and conduct a lot inspection. A survey can ensure that all improvements were built correctly and up to code, as well as ensuring that nothing encroaches on your neighbor’s property. Without a survey, you may incur expenses after you move in and realize you’re breaking your neighbor, or you may need to rebuild something that isn’t up to code.

Considering all the complexities involved in becoming a homebuyer, once you’ve started the process, you’ll likely be relieved to have a real estate attorney on your side.

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