Four reasons why it is cheaper to hire a real estate attorney
People who are embarking on the complicated path of property transactions often wonder if they will need a real estate attorney to close them. People on the buyer’s side often wonder if they can just trust their real estate agent and avoid the added 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 business can ultimately be more profitable.
1. You are an out-of-town buyer
Buying a home when you are out of town and unfamiliar with the local regulations and customs in 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 also helping you close on the mortgage. Mistakes that occur during the purchasing process always have the potential to result in the loss of your deposit and could even cause you to incur substantial legal costs if litigation occurs.
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 explain the terms of any required supplemental homeowners insurance. The number of forms that need to be signed when buying a home can be overwhelming, and if you’re not careful, you can miss something important. For example, in some cases, you may need 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 about the prospect of getting a great deal, but contract negotiations can be lengthy and complex. An attorney can be essential during these negotiations and to ensure that the home you are looking for is competitively priced. Additionally, 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 the potential costs involved with repairs.
4. Property has exterior improvements
If the home you are looking for has had any improvements to the lot, such as a swimming 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 have been built correctly and to code, as well as ensure that nothing encroaches on your neighbor’s property. Without a survey, you may incur expenses after you move out and find that you are breaking your neighbor, or you may need to rebuild something that is not code compliant.
Considering all the complexities involved in becoming a home buyer, once you have started the process, you will likely be relieved to have a real estate attorney on your side.