Why use an Attorney for your Real Estate Purchase?

We’ve all heard it before: The purchase of a home is one of the most important and financially significant investments you will ever make. Real estate transactions are no longer as simple as they were at one time. Instead, they have become multi-faceted matters, and the legal consequences from mistakes or omissions during the buying process can cause you some major headaches.  While some believe that hiring a real estate attorney is an unnecessary expense, this is the last place where you should look to trim costs. Here are 5 reasons why it is beneficial to have an attorney assist in your real estate purchase:

 1.      Purchase Agreement Review and Advisement on Modifications: The real estate contract for the purchase of the property you wish to buy is usually a preprinted form that was created by a particular real estate organization.  Specific terms, such as purchase price and closing date, are left blank and filled-in by the real estate agent once the parties come to an agreement on those items.  However, the pre-made general terms stated in the contract also govern the transaction and it is in your best interest to have a real estate attorney review the document to ensure that the terms already provided are congruent with your intentions in agreeing to the purchase of the property.  Every real estate transaction is unique and it is particularly important to have an attorney experienced in real estate transactions on your side to identify whether certain modifications should be made to the contract in light of the specific circumstances surrounding your purchase.

 2.      Negotiating Contract Terms and Inspection Issues: For many buyers, this part of the transaction can be a bit uncomfortable, so having an attorney skilled in the negotiation process can ease a lot of the tension and stress involved in the purchase process.  During the attorney review period, attorneys for both the buyer and seller will negotiate modifications to the terms of the contract, such as the appropriate tax proration, financing contingencies and title considerations.  The buyer’s attorney will also play a part in resolving home inspection issues, specifically, in requesting and negotiating certain repairs and/or replacements completed prior to closing, or, in the alternative, obtaining a repair credit from the seller. If not handled properly, and with the buyer’s best interest in mind, the end result could mean termination of the contract. Having the right attorney handling this stage of the process is crucial.

 3.      Review of Other Ancillary Documents: Depending on the nature of the property, a real estate attorney will also those additional documents that may affect the purchase of the property, such as condominium declarations, by-laws, budgets, regulations and homeowner’s association declarations, among others.  An attorney will advise the buyer as to their owner’s rights and obligations that are set forth in these documents.

 4.      Pre-Closing Responsibilities: Prior to closing, a real estate attorney will ensure that all items required to close are in place.   While the requirement for each transaction may vary, the buyer’s attorney should, at the very least, review and approve the following documents: title commitment, evidence that the seller has good and merchantable title to be conveyed to the buyer, the deed and the manner in which the buyer(s) is taking title, and the Seller’s closing statement identifying costs and credits to the buyer that are to be expected at closing.

 5.      Closing: The closing table can be an exciting place to be; it can also be a scary place without the right representation.  There is a flurry of documentation flying across the table for people to approve, sign off on, modify, alter, change or just review.  With a real estate attorney present, they will assist you, the buyer, in all manners, including: review of loan documents, title clearance documents, review of seller’s documents to ensure that they are conveying good and clear title, obtain waiver from the title company any non-permitted exception to title, present title clearance to the title company, and review the RESPA for correctness.

If you are in the market to purchase real estate, or have already signed the contract, this is a very exciting time!  Let the Law Office of Kathryn M. Madda make sure it stays that way.  Contact Us at [312] 834-4230 or katie@madda.com

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