Do You Need a Lawyer to Buy a House?

Many homebuyers ask, “Why do I need a lawyer?” Real estate agents can help in some states. But you should know that an attorney will cost thousands of dollars. However, it might be worth the investment. They can close the deal and avoid pitfalls for you. Read on to find out how.

1. Contracts

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Negotiating for land is never easy. But we can make it easier. Attorneys can be your secret weapon for negotiating and keeping things legal. They can represent you in negotiations and make sure that contracts adhere to state laws. If there are any concerns about the property, they’ll address them before the sale goes through.

It’s important to know that you can’t just sign any old contract. Homes come with a lot of legalities, and it’s necessary to have a lawyer review your document. When working with real estate, it is vital for clients to understand the three-day rule before signing anything. The lawyer will explain this rule, review the contract for errors, and insert contingencies that are useful.

2. Title Searches

Title Searches

Another service attorneys can offer is a title search — they do it to make sure the property they’re selling is free and clear of liens or judgments. You don’t want to buy a house or land and then find out you owe the bank $100,000 for some debt your seller was unaware of. The title search will help you avoid this problem.

An attorney is the best profession to do a title search. They’ll do it faster and more accurately than a layperson can. Although an attorney may not do a title search themselves, they have a relationship with title search companies that specialize in this service. The lawyer may also provide the seller with suggestions or sources for financing so that they can satisfy claims.

When you get a judgment or lien against your property, it’s important to get proof that it has been resolved right away. This will protect you if you ever plan to use your property as collateral or to get a mortgage or loan in the future.

3. Property Transfers

When preparing a contract for a corporation, trust, or partnership, you need to know the risks. An attorney understands these business setups and can help you prepare the best contract for your state. Let the lawyer be your guide. They will make sure your contract is compliant with any other agreements made by the partnership, trust, or corporation.

4. Filings

Attorneys are the best people to handle legal work, which often takes place at the county and state levels. If you’re buying property in an area where certain types of structures are not allowed, an attorney will be able to navigate the maze of regulations so you can complete the transaction.

It’s important to have an attorney when a transaction revolves around the commercial property. The attorney can help you cut through government bureaucracy and make sure your business is recognized by the state. They can also secure your business license through the municipality.

Failing to submit the appropriate paperwork at the state or county level can result in dire consequences. Such as:

  • That one time when the deed wasn’t transferred correctly and it led to income or estate taxes for buyers and sellers.
  • The time when the building permit was filed incorrectly on wetlands, and it meant certain structures needed to be rebuilt or owners had to pay fines.
  • If it is a commercial transaction, and the business is not correctly registered at the state level, the business might be forced to close.

5. Sellers Need Attorneys Too

If you’re selling a property, chances are an attorney will represent your interests. But whether or not you need one isn’t up to the law — it’s up to you. You should consider hiring an attorney if your state requires one. If not, it’s absolutely worth hiring one. That’s because an attorney can review the home inspection and disclose relevant facts about the property to the other party.

For example, if the transaction was with a corporation or partnership, they might sue you for not clearing the title to the property or for negligence in disclosing certain defects.

Lawyers are an excellent resource. If you’re buying a house, for example, they will be able to tell you if the seller has a good title and disclose any potential problems. This will help reduce your risk of litigation.

6. Dealing With Discrimination

Even if you can’t afford a lawyer, most states still protect you from discrimination during the home-purchasing process. If you face discriminatory practices, it’s important to know your rights. Find a lawyer who specializes in the law of your state.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to real estate, there are a lot of rules to know and follow. In order to protect yourself from potential legal issues, having experienced legal counsel can be a good idea. With a legal advisor by your side, the transaction will be carried out in accordance with the applicable law from your state and municipality. This way, both parties can have peace of mind that everything is done according to the law.