Many people wonder why they need an attorney to buy a home. After all they have the people at the bank helping them and their real estate agent, what more do they need? An attorney. The attorney’s job is to make sure you are getting exactly what you ask for. Think of it this war-your real estate agent gets you the house you always dreamed of, the bank provides the funds, the attorney makes sure no on can challenge your right to the home or make you pay more than you bargained for. Some of the things your attorney looks at:
While most individuals have the ability to negotiate face-to-face with another party, the terms of the deal must be properly memorialized in a contract in order for them to be legally binding. Attorneys can do that by not only negotiating on your behalf, but also making sure that the contract adheres to all state laws as well as addresses any specific issues that might affect the future use of the property.
Another vital service that attorneys perform is called a title search. Title searches are completed by or through attorneys, and their purpose is to make sure that the property being sold is free of any encumbrances, such as liens or judgments. The outcome of the title search is extremely important because it reveals whether the seller has the legal right to sell the property in question. An attorney will be able to provide this service much faster, and often with less cost because real estate attorneys have working relationships with title search companies.
When one or more parties are corporations, trusts or partnerships, the contract preparation and the ensuing negotiations are complex. An attorney understands these different types of business arrangements and their legal boundaries within your state’s law. As such, the attorney will ensure that the contract is consistent with the law, but also that the terms of the deal in no way violate the partnership’s, trust’s or corporation’s charter agreements.
Real estate deeds often need to be filed at the county and state level. An attorney will be able to do this quickly and efficiently. In addition, if the transaction involves property where certain types of construction might not be allowed, an attorney will be able to navigate the maze of state regulations so that you may complete the transaction.
What Can Happen Without an Attorney?
Having an attorney represent your interests isn’t a legal requirement. But without one, you increase your chances of being sued by the opposing party for failure to disclose certain information. That is because an attorney’s job is to review the home inspection and make certain that all relevant facts about the property (as well as any judgments or defects) are made known to the other party.
Finally, without an attorney you run the risk of failing to file the appropriate documents at the state or the county level. The following is what can happen if certain documents aren’t filed.
- If a deed is not properly transferred it could cause a variety of income and/or estate taxes to be levied on the buyer and/or the seller.
- If building permits are not filed on wetlands, certain structures may have to be rebuilt, or owners may incur fines.
- If the transaction is commercial in nature and the business is not properly registered at the state level, the company may not receive its taxpayer identification number. Should this happen, the business might be forced to close until it secures that information.
Having legal counsel makes good business sense because of the complexities that come with real estate. An experienced, competent real estate attorney can help to protect your interests and ensure that your real estate transaction adheres to the applicable rules of your state/municipality.