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Do You Need a Lawyer to Buy a House?

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A house is a major purchase, and it’s usually one of the biggest investments people make. It can be difficult to navigate the complex legal requirements that come with buying a home, particularly when you’re going it alone or are dealing with an uncooperative seller. If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to help with the transaction.

Do you need a lawyer to buy a house?

In most situations, you don’t need to pay for a real estate attorney, though that depends on your state and the type of home you’re purchasing. But there are some times when hiring a lawyer is necessary or recommended, such as when you’re buying in a difficult area, when the property is a foreclosure, short sale or bankowned, when you’re located out of town, when you’re using a nontraditional structure for your mortgage, or if there is a tenant in the house.

Your lawyer will prepare your loan documents, such as a mortgage commitment letter and good faith estimate of closing costs; review your title report to identify any liens or other issues that should be resolved before closing; and prepare all the closing documents, including the deed and transfer tax returns. They will also work with your mortgage lender to ensure that your application is complete and that all of the fees are properly calculated and paid.

Closing your house is a long process, and it can be costly. If you’re buying a home includes the cost of the lender, real estate agent, title and escrow agents, as well as any other expenses associated with the closing.

At the closing, your lawyer will review all of the closing documents and make sure that they are correct. They will also review your mortgage documents and make sure that you are making the correct payments.

It’s best to have a lawyer present at the closing, but that doesn’t always happen. Often, the seller and buyer’s lawyers, along with their real estate brokers and realtors, attend the closing and there is a lot of paperwork to be signed. Recommended this site personal injury lawyer .

 

Once the contract is signed and you’ve paid your down payment, your lawyer will order a title report, which can identify any liens or other issues that need to be addressed before closing. Depending on the type of home you’re purchasing, your lawyer may also have an inspection done.

A real estate attorney can also review the purchase contract to determine that it is fair and reasonable to both parties, says James McGrath, co-founder of New York City real estate brokerage Yoreevo. He notes that most contracts in the market are “fillin-the-blank” forms, and a lawyer can provide a more detailed analysis of the terms.

Your attorney will also negotiate any repairs that need to be made before closing, and if the seller isn’t willing to make the agreed-upon repairs, your lawyer will try to persuade the seller to do them. Your lawyer will also handle any other negotiations that you and the seller are engaged in, such as how much money will be owed to each party at the closing, whether appliances will stay and what should be done about any existing problems with the property, such as a faulty heating system or a bad roof.

 

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