When purchasing a home, it's sometimes required that a real estate attorney be present at the closing. It's mandatory in certain states, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Kentucky, but it can be a good idea to hire an attorney even in states where it isn't mandatory.
Offers Extra Layer of Protection
Buying a home is a considerable investment for most people, so it's important to be protected. Hiring a real estate attorney can help with this, as the attorney will go over all of the documents and make sure that they are in accordance with the current real estate laws and make sure that the buyer is protected in case the house should turn out to not be as advertised. The attorney will also make sure to file all the necessary documents with the state and local authorities. If these aren't filed, it could cause problems later on.
Especially Important in Unusual Situations
In some cases, the purchase contract is pretty standard, so it may be possible to get by without hiring an attorney. However, in cases where the situation isn't standard and special language needs to be used in the contract, an attorney is important. This includes situations where there is a lien on the property, the property is in a problematic area (such as one subject to flooding or other natural disasters), the home may have structural issues, or the property is bank owned or a short sale. It can also be a good idea in more normal situations, such as when the buyer is from out of town.
An Attorney Represents Only You
Hiring a real estate attorney means that there is someone at the closing that is looking out for your best interests. While you'd like to think that the real estate agent is doing this, she also wants to make a sale and might do something that isn't necessarily in your best interests in order to make a sale.
Choosing an Attorney
It's a good idea to hire a real estate attorney, as other types of lawyers won't be as familiar with real estate law and could miss something or change something in a way that could cause problems with the attorney of the seller. You'll also want to choose a local real estate attorney, as what is customary in the contracts may vary a bit from place to place. The cost for these services is usually somewhere in the range of $800 to $1,000 and is part of the closing costs, which can sometimes be rolled into the mortgage. This means you may not have to pay this upfront at the closing, which makes it a bit more affordable for many people.
For more information about the services of a real estate attorney, contact a professional such as Jack W Hanemann, P.S.