Should I have a real estate lawyer when I buy a new home?

Purchasing a home will likely be one of the most significant purchases you make in your life. This process also involves many laws and rules which raises special issues that are not typically present in other transactions. A real estate lawyer, like attorney Timothy Kassouni, a real estate lawyer in Sacramento, CA, has been educated and trained to handle these issues in a professional, efficient manner. 

Purchasing a New Home

In a general purchase of a home, the seller will enter into a brokerage contract with a real estate agent. When this agent finds a buyer, negotiations are done through the broker. As soon as an informal agreement is met, a written, legally binding contract for the sale and purchase of the home may be drafted. Afterwhich, a buyer will commit to financing. This is followed by a title search, and finally the property will be transferred from the seller to the buyer. At this point, the seller will receive the money for the purchase – after the agent has been paid. This process might seem straightforward, and relatively easy; however, it can bring forth complications. When these elements arise, the consequences of them can be disastrous, especially without a real estate lawyer. 

How A Lawyer Can Help a Seller

A common problem in the sale or purchase of a home is the use of vague terminology in brokerage agreements. For example, you might sign an agreement that fails to include various legal circumstances because it is a standard form that is not customized to the buyer and seller’s needs. 

On the contrary, there may be no brokerage agreement. In this case, the seller may be obligated to pay the fees of the real estate agent even if there is no sale. If the seller is able to negotiate the sale on their own behalf, this problem could be avoided. A lawyer can help a seller to determine whether or not they should have multiple listings and assist in negotiating the rights of the realtor.

The seller of a property can receive guidance and advice with respect to any contracts, agreements, and other matters. He or she can also explain and revise the terms and ensure all documents have been properly signed. 

Considering a Legal  Consultation

Even if you don’t think you need a real estate lawyer when you buy or sell a home, it may be a good idea to consult with a lawyer for a few hours to review important questions, tax consequences, transaction details, tax provisions, and more. 

Purchasing Agreements

The purchase agreement in a real estate transaction is the most important document. Standard forms can be used; however, it may be better to make modifications and additions that reflect the desires of all parties involved. The purchase agreement should also address:

  • Whether the property has been altered?
  • Whether there has been any addition to the property?
  • If the buyer plans to alter the property, and if so, what?
  • What happens if asbestos, lead based paint, termites, or other harmful toxins/pests are found?
  • What the legal consequences may be if the closing date is not successful?
  • What will happen to the take down payment?
  • How the down payment will be held?
  • How payment can be made?

A purchasing agreement is often several pages and should be as detailed as possible. It can be useful to have a lawyer draft it, or at the minimum, review it. If you would like to know more about purchasing agreements or are ready to have a real estate lawyer on your side, call a law firm.

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