Do Home Buyers Need A Real Estate Attorney?

Here Are 5 Reasons Why the Answer is “Yes”.

            The real estate market is booming once again. Many first time home buyers, investors and people looking to upgrade or downsize are making offers to purchase homes in the Monmouth County area.  Once a Contract is signed, the next question is “Who will you be using as your lawyer for the transaction?”  While family, friends and even some realtors may advocate for not using a lawyer, or having a title insurance company handle the closing, having a real estate attorney represent you in the purchase of a home is essential to insure a smooth transaction from contract to closing.  Here are 5 reasons why:

1.         Your real estate attorney will review the Contract once it is fully signed by both the Buyer and Seller and make any changes during the attorney review period.  The changes will insure your rights are protected and that any inconsistencies are resolved from the outset.  A title company cannot legally make changes during the attorney review on your behalf, so thinking you are protected by hiring a title company to assist you at the closing is a misconception.

2.         Once the home inspection is conducted, your real estate attorney will review the report with you and draft a letter to the Seller’s attorney requesting repairs, or a credit for repairs that are to be made after the closing.  Lawyers who regularly handle real estate transactions will be better able to negotiate a resolution of inspection issues and will have knowledge of the laws if serious issues are brought to light during an inspection, such as septic system deficiencies, underground oil tanks, or mold.

3.           If you are obtaining a mortgage to pay for the home, your real estate attorney will work with your lender to insure that the lender has all the documents needed for the loan to be cleared for closing.   Often times the lender will require an Addendum to the Contract to modify certain terms, or documents from the Seller or a homeowner’s association that the Buyer’s lawyer will be able to take care of with ease.  Without a lawyer, the Buyer would be responsible for handling the request from the lender, which is not always an easy task and can be very time consuming.

4.           Once the closing is scheduled, the Buyer will perform a final walk-through of the home and many times, issues arise that need to be resolved before the closing can take place.  For example, a hole in the wall, a gas leak, air conditioning that is not working or a leak in the roof that was discovered at the final walk-through can cause great tension between the parties on the day of the closing.  A real estate attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to have the issue handled, such as holding an escrow from the Seller’s proceeds until the repair is made, to insure that the closing takes place as scheduled. 

5.         Lastly, having a lawyer at the closing table will insure that mortgage documents from the lender are accurate, that the Seller provides the required documents to transfer title to the Buyer, and that the final Closing Statement includes all of the financial information required by law.  Your lawyer will walk you through the mortgage documents, return the signed mortgage package to the lender and have the Deeds file with the County Clerk.  Tasks that occur after the closing,  such as insuring that a final title insurance policy is issued to both the Buyer and the lender, will be addressed by your lawyer.

The best way to insure that your rights are protected, from the time the Contract is signed until the final title policy is issued, is to retain a lawyer with knowledge and experience in handling real estate transactions.  In the long run, retaining a real estate attorney, who will be by your side during the entire process, is well worth the fee.  If you are purchasing a house, whether big or small, whether inexpensive or high-priced, the attorneys at LevinCyphers, with decades of real estate experience, are here to assist you.   Contact us now.