Moving households, whether it’s across the country or down the street, is a complicated process. Outside of the fact that you need to pack up and transport your entire life (the average home has around 300,000 things in it!), there is a mountain of paperwork and legal jargon that needs to be navigated and filled out. In many cases, a real estate agent alone will be sufficient to sort through the details, but there are certain situations that require a more knowledgeable and legally-experienced hand to manage. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid the risk and employ the services of a real estate lawyer, rather than rely on an agent, for your big move.
Contracts are not always easy to understand.
Purchase agreements, which finalize the sale of the home, are the most important document involved in the transaction. Your lawyer will be able to review the terms and establish, with full understanding:
- If the seller plans to make any changes, and whether they’ve been done lawfully
- If the seller has already made changes to the property, and whether they’ve been done lawfully
- What will happen if the home fails one of the required inspections (lead, asbestos, termites, etc.)
- The legal consequences that will occur should the closing fail to take place
All of these subtle details can have devastating impacts, both financially and legally, on the new owners if they’re not properly taken care of before the documentation is signed.
Additionally, real estate lawyers can help you understand the financial contracts from the bank related to your mortgage. Most mortgage agreements contain fixed rate loans of either 15 or 30 years, but they can vary depending on the desires of the buyers and the requirements of the bank. It is absolutely vital to have help translating this documentation so you don’t find yourself saddled with a massive loan and half the time you’d expected to pay it back.
Lawyers do not work on commission.
It can be easy to think that your real estate agent is on your side, but you need to remember that their paycheck relies on the closing sale. They may go to great lengths to convince you to go through with the purchase because their cut comes, usually, from 5% of the final selling price.
Real estate lawyers, on the other hand, are paid by the hour. It is their job to inform you if this sale is a sound and legal decision, and won’t pressure you into doing anything you’re unsure of or uncomfortable with; they are confidants and guides whose presence is supposed to reassure you that your money and time is being well spent.
Not every sale is alike.
There can be very specific situations that demand extra legal attention and care, such as:
- If you’re interested in renting the home before purchasing it fully
- If the property is a commercial purchase
- If it is a sale where the seller is carrying the home loan
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially where legal matters are concerned.
There are over 1.3 million lawyers in the United States; finding the right one to handle your move is easier than ever. Don’t gamble on an inexperienced real estate agent to manage the legal aspects of your move — choose a real estate lawyer instead, and sleep easy in your new home.