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Using a lawyer during the home-buying process

If you're a first-time homebuyer, you undoubtedly have a range of questions regarding the process. You may have read things on the internet or gotten advice from friends who have bought homes in the past, but every situation is different, so you may still have some qualms about how everything works.

First, let's look at a broad view of the home buying process. Once you've found a home you like, you or your broker will work with the seller's broker to come up with a purchase agreement. You'll then secure financing, and a title search will be conducted to ensure that there are no issues. Once that is satisfied, you will hand over the agreed-upon amount and the home will be transferred to you.

Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. For instance, your or the seller's realtor may use one-size-fits-all forms that fail to account for every possible legal problem that could arise. This could leave you, the buyer, open to all sorts of potential burdens. Also, the purchase agreement could fail to address a wide range of problems, including unlawful additions to the house, undisclosed termite issues or hazardous construction materials.

The actual closing involves a mountain of legal paperwork as well, which can leave first-time homebuyers feeling overwhelmed. That's why it might be advantageous to hire an attorney.

Lawyers who are well-versed in real estate law have gone through the process many times and will be able to look at agreements with an expert eye to catch anything that could cause a problem in the future. He or she will also be there to oversee the title search and closing, explaining every step as it happens.

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