The age old cliche still stands…that being, that a real estate purchase is likely going to be the most significant outlay of money one will make in their life. Those of us who have in the past bought a home, knows this to be true. Why then wouldn’t a buyer of a home (or other real property) not want to have the piece of mind to know that the transaction is conducted properly? I would suggest that all purchasers (and conversely sellers) not only should want this comfort but require it.
Real estate transactions all start with a contract of sale. In terms of present day standards the average cost of a home is likely in the $300,000 – $500,000 range. After properly negotiating the financial terms of the deal, a lawyers job is only just beginning. The attorney next needs to advise the client regarding home inspection issues that likely will arise. These issues generally include; structural challenges to the home, the presence of asbestos or termite infestation, or an underground oil or storage tank; and several other considerations. These are all hugely important factors that arise in most transactions. Wouldn’t you feel more at ease knowing that a skilled professional attorney navigated you through these complex issues especially since you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase the home?
Finally, the last phase of the transaction relates to the actual closing. At this point a purchaser of real estate will have to finalize mortgage related issues, including the signing of many complicated documents in order to get their much needed loan from a bank in order to consummate the deal. A lawyers ability to explain the documents to the client is essential to providing the client with knowledge as to what exactly are the terms of the loan. In today’s banking world, with the apparent tightening of credit, the process is becoming more laborious and confusing to the layperson. Accordingly, the role that the attorney advisor plays is becoming even more instrumental and important to the purchaser.
I will close with another cliche that judges often cite, that being, “whoever represents themselves, has a fool for a client” . Respectfully, use your good common sense and engage the right attorney to help you realize your dream of purchasing a home.