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Why do I need a lawyer when buying or selling a house?

Buying a home is usually the single largest investment people make, and those who sell a house do so with the intent to make the maximum profit possible. Whether you are buying or selling, real estate transactions can be complex and confusing, which is why having an experienced real estate attorney on your side makes a lot of sense.

Home sellers usually employ a broker to complete the deal. In doing so, the seller has to sign a brokerage agreement. Oftentimes, these agreements are stock contracts with little modification, and sometimes the seller ends up agreeing to stipulations they may not have fully understood. Having a real estate lawyer explain each provision of the contract will help ensure they fully understand their responsibilities and potential outcomes of the transaction when it goes through.

Likewise, when a buyer makes an offer on a house, he or she has to sign a purchase agreement. This agreement is probably the most important document of the entire real estate transaction because it spells out the terms and conditions for the sale. Stipulations and conditions involving the structural integrity of the house, the presence of pests or hazardous waste, closing date details, lender details and any other contingencies involving the sale are examples of the kinds of issues that can be included in the purchase agreement. Consulting with a lawyer prior to signing will help ensure the buyer understands all aspects of the transaction.

Furthermore, due to their nature, real estate transactions have unique tax and insurance implications for both the buyer and seller. Only an attorney experienced in real estate law can properly explain these implications and answer any questions the buyer or seller may have.

Since neither the respective brokers nor lenders can offer legal advice, having an attorney on your side throughout the transaction will help mitigate any conflicts that may arise. Your attorney will work on your behalf to make sure the deal goes through in your best interest; otherwise, you may end up investing, and wasting, a lot of time and money into a house that was far from what you expected. Whether you are selling your house or looking to buy the home of your dreams, you should retain the services of an experienced real estate attorney to ensure the transaction is a success.

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