Real Estate Lawyers: When It's Time To Hire One

26 October 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog

For most home buyers, a real estate lawyer is not needed unless or until it's time to close on the property. But there can be some instances when it might be prudent to hire an attorney before you clinch the sale. Navigating the home buying process can seem daunting, specifically when it comes to all of the different contracts, laws, and stipulations. If you're uncertain about some of those rules and laws, you may end up with a few issues before you can move in. Read more to learn why hiring a real estate lawyer would be needed in some cases. 

New Construction

Buying a newly constructed home is a bit more complex than buying one that has already been built and lived in. For newly built homes, there can be lengthy purchase agreements, even for new condominium purchases. Navigating through all of the legal jargon can be time-consuming and intimidating. An experienced property lawyer can look as these agreements and decipher any portions that may cause concern. Some potential issues include discrepancies in maintenance agreements with the builder, warranties on work already done to the home, and previously promised upgrades that might not have been added when you move in. 


The verbiage used in home purchase contract can be somewhat tricky. For example, if the buyer uses the phrase "contingent upon financing" instead of "contingent upon buyer's preferred type of financing," they could be left paying more than they expected. Buyers should know exactly what they are approved for as well as their desired terms of financing when it comes to interest rates and additional fine print and have a lawyer draft up the contract or review it before they sign so they're not left holding the bag.

Hidden Costs

The total amount of home can sometimes change when it's time to sit down at the closing table. For new construction homes, costs can be added such as additional appliances or an added light fixture. All of these costs should be disclosed to the buyer before they decide if they want to buy the home, not after they've agreed to the contract. A real estate lawyer can ensure that you will only have to pay what the home was listed at originally without builders or home sellers tacking on additional costs at the last minute.

Small Print Mistakes

In some cases, the previous owner of a home may owe back taxes to their locality. Once the new buyers close, they could potentially be left footing the bill. Property lawyers can help research the current tax status on the home to ensure that the original owner is paid up before transferring the sale. While it can cost upfront money to hire a real estate lawyer, it can sometimes pay off in saving potentially thousands of dollars. Contact a local lawyer, such as one from A R E Law, for further assistance.