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Do I need an attorney when buying a home?

When it comes to buying a home, many people put all of their trust into their real estate agent. After all, that’s why you work with an agent, right? Real estate agents certainly have their role in the process. They understand what you’re looking for and can help guide you toward the home that you want. However, a real estate agent is usually not an attorney. When you’re making one of the most significant investments of your life, the last thing you need is to run into a legal snafu. Working with a real estate lawyer can help protect your interests in a number of ways.

The benefits of working with a real estate lawyer

A lawyer understands both the transactional and legal sides of a real estate purchase. An attorney offers several benefits, including:

  • Contract drafting and review: The paperwork you sign will bind both you and the seller to the terms of your agreement. An attorney can ensure that the language complies with all state laws. They can also address any issues in the contract that could impact any plans you may have for the property. An attentive lawyer should review the paperwork, make a note of any discrepancies, and help ensure you don’t end up agreeing to something you weren’t aware of at the time.
  • Title searches: Title problems have derailed many a real estate transaction. A title search helps ensure that the property is free of liens or other encumbrances. Basically, it ensures the seller is legally entitled to sell the property. A lawyer can help uncover potential problems and figure out the best way to address any outstanding issues.
  • Paperwork filing: Deeds will need to be recorded at both the county and state levels. If you are buying an empty lot or intend to tear down and rebuild, your attorney can help ensure that your plans comply with local zoning ordinances and provide any additional filings deemed necessary.

Real estate transactions can involve numerous complexities. When you have a significant financial interest, you should be sure you have full legal protections. The last thing you want is to encounter an unpleasant surprise during this process.