Whether you are ready to move into your first house or ready to change to a bigger, fresher place, buying and selling homes is never easy.
There is bureaucracy from start to finish, and both new homeowners, as well as experienced sellers, can find themselves caught in the middle of complex paperwork and processes to follow. For that reason, it is essential to hire a lawyer to assist you during the transactions.
An experienced real estate lawyer will not just help you sign the final contract and provide the closing, but they can even help you make the decision on which house to buy or to whom to sell. On top of all of that, your real estate lawyer will also take the responsibility of dealing with the other party’s lawyer, which to some people can be a real relief.
Here are the basics of what you need to know and why you should hire a real estate lawyer.
The process of buying a new home starts with the decision to move. When you are ready to start the exciting—and sometimes exhausting—hunt for real estate, it is easy to be caught up in the moment and set idealistic goals that may not be in accordance with reality, or even to let a perfect opportunity go just because you couldn’t see its true potential.
Maybe you found a place that would be perfect for your family, but the conditions that apply to it are too much for you to handle, or maybe you just need someone to negotiate the best terms for you: in any case, before signing any contracts, it is extremely important to be sure that the place you are buying is everything you truly wish for. A lawyer can be a true lifesaver and review the paperwork with you, guaranteeing that everything is in order with the house.
A good lawyer will also assist you in the financial part of the deal. Most people will need financing to be able to pay for their dream house, and the role of the lawyer here is to make sure that the client gets the credit approved and is ready to go for the closing.
More than just reviewing documents, your lawyer will also assist in the arrangements for the final transaction by negotiating with the other party the terms and conditions. Many homes will include perks such as appliances, other constructions on the land, garage spaces, etc., and all of that will need to be taken care of before you can say you own a new home. Considerations such as zoning in the neighbourhood, for example, must be taken in case the buyer someday wishes to renovate the space.
Although it may seem easier to be in the seller’s position in a real estate transaction, the truth can be quite different. The reality is that, usually, the person selling a home is also buying another, which only adds to the list of worries they will have.
From a seller’s perspective, having a lawyer will guarantee that you choose the right buyer and that all funds will be properly transferred in an orderly and timely manner.
The advantage of letting your lawyer take care of the heavy paperwork also applies to the seller, since the real estate lawyer will also communicate with the other party’s legal representative and answer inquiries that may be necessary to the transaction. In most cases, the buyer will try to negotiate the price of the real estate and the method of payment, and so having a trained person assisting you is essential for the proper fulfilment of the parties’ obligations.
The reason why selling and buying real estate can be such a complicated process is that not everything is flower. Every step of the procedure has details that can go wrong very easily if overlooked, and when they do, it can be a headache to fix.
The main role of a lawyer in this scenario is to organise the paperwork and avoid having any irregularities that could escalate to bigger problems in the future. This applies both to their own client and to the other party: the lawyer will make sure that everyone is complying with their obligations.
However, the real estate lawyer works not only with prevention but also remediation. In cases when a dispute surges regarding the entirety or parts of the property, the parties may need to settle their arguments in Court. By having a legal representative with you from the beginning, you can be better prepared in case of need.
Your lawyer will guide you through the dispute and represent your best interests in court against the other party.
Finally, hiring a real estate lawyer can be beneficial in ways that not everyone is aware of. When buying and selling homes, it is important to pay attention to parts of the process that may seem minor, but that have a great impact on the final contract.
Perhaps a better example of this is the payment of taxes. Some homes will reflect a greater amount of taxes to be paid, and this will have a direct impact on the lives of the new homeowners, and so it must be included in the documentation of the real estate prior to closing.
More than that, we can also highlight land usage and area regulations that can affect how and what the buyers can build on their new property. Such kinds of restrictions must be made clear to the parties at the beginning of the negotiations since some of those can represent deal breakers for some.
In summary, not only can your lawyer help you file all of the documentation, they will also provide meaningful advice about the transaction you wish to pursue, will negotiate in your name with the other party and, in case of need, will defend your best interests in court, being familiarised with your case from scratch.