Not every state requires you to use a real estate attorney when buying or selling a home—but it's good practice even if it's not legally required. Let's look at the reasons to hire a lawyer.
At the core of a home purchase is the contract. Although the home purchase agreement may seem like a straightforward legal document, it may be written in a way that favors the other side. But a real estate contract isn't written in stone. Your real estate attorney can help negotiate changes that make the contract fair and balanced, while also protecting your interests.
The average real estate transaction includes mountains of paperwork. And unless you work in the real estate or mortgage industry, the contracts and disclosure forms may seem as if they're written in a foreign language. An experienced real estate lawyer can decipher these documents, read and review them thoroughly, let you know if they contain any surprises, and help ensure that the seller is upholding his or her end of the bargain.
It's a small price to pay on a huge investment. When you buy a home, it's probably the largest financial investment you'll ever make. Although many real estate transactions proceed smoothly, there's a lot that can go wrong. Think of your real estate attorney as a form of insurance. You're spending a relatively small amount of money to help reduce the risk that something happens and puts the transaction—and your investment—at risk.
Your real estate agent isn't qualified to offer legal advice. Real estate agents perform many valuable services, but they lack the education, experience, qualifications and knowledge to advise you on real estate law. (In fact, it's illegal for a real estate agent to suggest he or she can do the work of an attorney, and it's known as unauthorized practice law
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