Do I Need a Lawyer When I Buy My New Home?


The short answer is yes. After all, not only will it be the biggest, most significant purchase you’ll ever make, but it is a lengthy process requiring legal compliance in an industry littered with pitfalls and problems. Having a dedicated real estate lawyer on your side can be the difference between a smooth process and a headache.

When Buying a New Home, Remember: You’re Entering Into a Contract

Contracts do have legal terms, and you have to understand them. Real estate law isn’t easy, which is why a lawyer makes all the difference. To avoid confusion, that lawyer mediates between both your realtor and the seller’s agent during negotiations.

Lawyers Can Simplify Vague and Unclear Terms

Sometimes contracts can be cluttered with them. Having a lawyer streamline it and word it in a way that not only makes sense, but can’t be interpreted differently by either party can certainly avoid disputes and delays in closing. Not having that lawyer review your contract could result in brokerage commissions a seller would have to pay even when a sale isn’t made on the property.

This applies to both a buyer and seller, in fact. Always have an attorney look over a brokerage agreement. Such agreements may need clarification with terms that should be explained both ways.

Consider a Consultation Even If Negotiations Don’t Require a Lawyer

When you think about it, a lawyer—especially in the vertical of real estate—knows all the ins and outs especially, for tax consequences. Consult an attorney to get answers to your most pressing questions.

This is especially important for sellers who stand to make a large profit. An attorney can, in fact, advise on the certain tax provisions allowed for capital gains, which can be a serious win and benefit. As a buyer, that’s certainly a clear road to closing if the seller sees that there’s a direct financial advantage.

And Don’t Forget About Those Purchase Agreements

Having that extra set of eyes outside of what your agent might see will help tremendously. After all, the lawyer can check on all of these:

  • Legal alterations to the property
  • Buyer intentions to alter the property
  • The need for inspection due to termites, asbestos, etc.
  • Considering hazardous waste
  • Legal consequences for closing delays
  • What happens to the down payment?

All of that has to be placed in writing if they are relevant issues to consider. If they’re not, either the buyer or seller can lose out on something they’re entitled to.

And Finally—Title Search and Closing

You’d think this should be quite easy. But doing an accurate title search can uncover secrets that you’d want to know about before signing on the dotted line. When closing, too, all documents then get prepared effectively and accurately, and that spells nothing but success.

Don’t have a lawyer present? You run the risk of certain delays coming up with a title search revealing the home seller doesn’t actually own the property at all. Then it goes to court. Then you wait longer before getting into that home.

So Do the Math—Do You Need a Lawyer?

Given all the possible variables, that should be an easy answer. Do you need to learn more? Contact an attorney for more information right now.

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