If you're new to the home-buying process, or if you're a seasoned home buyer who has never used an attorney to complete a real estate transaction, you might be wondering why you would need to hire an attorney. After all, hiring a real estate agent should be all that you need to do before you buy a house, right? Unfortunately, the answer isn't a simple yes or no. Sometimes you need the additional help that a real estate lawyer can provide and sometimes you can complete the transaction without hiring a lawyer to review the contract. Here is why you should consider hiring a real estate lawyer.
Make Sure You're Following the Laws in Your State
In some states, hiring real estate lawyer is mandatory. Other states require you to hire a real estate agent to help you with the sale, and some states allow the homebuyer to decide whether they want to hire a real estate lawyer and/or a real estate agent. So the first thing you need to do is figure out whether or not you're required by law to use a real estate lawyer. If you are, hire one. If not, you might still want to consider it.
Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer
In most cases, it's probably okay to purchase a house using your own knowledge of real estate transactions or the knowledge of your real estate agent. However, there are still benefits of hiring a real estate lawyer. A seasoned real estate lawyer goes through every detail of your contract to help you determine what changes, if any, should be considered. The fact is, real estate agents are paid by commission, so the sale price of the home directly impacts the agent's paycheck. It's like having a built-in conflict of interest, so you can never be completely sure if a real estate agent has your best interests or that or his or her paycheck in mind. You can give yourself a little peace of mind by having the transaction reviewed by a real estate lawyer before finalizing the deal — especially if you've never purchased real estate before and have little market knowledge. In addition to reviewing your contract, your real estate lawyer will make sure the deed is properly transferred into yours and your lienholder's name.
Hiring a real estate lawyer is often the best option when you want a smooth transaction.