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Do I need a lawyer when I buy or sell a home?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2013 | Uncategorized

Generally speaking, yes you do!
A lot of people list real estate with real estate brokerage firms, and sign a document commonly called a “listing agreement.” That document has very important legal rights and obligations set forth within it, and if you are not familiar with this area of law, a lawyer can be very helpful. But, you should see the lawyer before you sign the listing contract in most circumstances. Many times, people sign contracts intending that they will talk about them with their lawyer at some point down the road. But, when that happens, more often than not, it can be too late to make meaningful changes because the contract has already been agreed upon!
When a real estate sales agreement is consummated, a buyer and a seller are ordinarily both involved. The sales agreement is also a very important document, and we believe that lawyers should be consulted before most sales agreements are entered into. Typical concerns in real estate sales include, but certainly are not limited to these: will the draperies stay with the house; what about the refrigerator staying with the house; are there any other appliances that will remain; how about t.v. antennas and rotors; how many days does the buyer have to arrange financing before the deal will evaporate of its own terms; will the seller or buyer be responsible for providing real estate title searching or evidence; will there be title insurance; if there is title insurance for the buyer’s bank – will there also be an owner’s policy provided for the buyer, and if there is, who will pay for it; is there earnest money; will the seller finance any part of the transaction’s price; will the ultimate deed be a warranty deed or some other kind of deed; should the deed to the buyers be a survivorship deed; will real estate taxes by prorated; if there is any rent due from a tenant on the property would that go to the buyer or the seller; how long will the seller have the right to remain in the property after the closing, if at all, etc.
As you can see, there can be loads of questions that can be properly addressed in real estate sales agreements. But, if people wait until after the agreements are signed before they check with counsel, it may be too late to make effective changes.
Our firm is available to discuss real estate agreements.