It is possible to complete the homebuying process without the help of a real estate attorney. However, having a real estate attorney involved provides many benefits to buyers and sellers alike.
In some states, hiring a real estate attorney may even be required by law to complete the transaction.
Benefits of Having a Real Estate Attorney
Having a real estate attorney involved in the process ensures that the contract is ironclad and acceptable to all parties involved.
A real estate attorney will also verify all aspects of the property and the transaction itself to reduce the risk of problems, providing added peace of mind for the buyer and the seller.
When to Hire an Attorney
Although a real estate attorney can be beneficial for any transaction, some buyers and sellers are hesitant to hire an attorney because of the added expense. In general, you should consider hiring a real estate attorney if:
- Your state requires the involvement of a real estate attorney.
- You are an out-of-town buyer with little knowledge of the area.
- The property carries judgments, liens or is damaged in some way.
- The owner of the property is deceased and/or the property is part of an estate sale.
- The property is a short sale or is owned by the bank.
- The property may have structural issues.
Some homes for sale have problems so serious that hiring a real estate attorney is the obvious choice.
However, if you are not sure whether you need to hire a real estate attorney for your sale or purchase, talk to your real estate agent about the pros and cons. Many real estate attorneys will also offer free consultations where they will explain their services and the potential benefits.