Real estate transactions are complicated, and that means that it is always a good idea to get a real estate attorney involved. For first-time home buyers, the whole process of finding and hiring an attorney is brand new, which means that mistakes can be made. There is plenty for real estate buyers and sellers to think about, but there are certain aspects of hiring a real estate attorney that industry experts consider to be vital.
Most first-time home buyers never bother to ask about hiring a lawyer until they are already into the process of creating an offer for a property. Real estate law is like any other field of law in that the sooner you get your real estate attorney on board, the better. In practice, many lawyers will tell you to get a real estate attorney before you settle on a real estate agent. The earlier your attorney gets involved in the process, the better equipped they will be to handle your situation.
Many real estate horror stories begin with a buyer or seller saying that they hired "this lawyer who said he can do real estate." When you hire a real estate attorney, be sure you get someone who has years of experience in transactions just like yours. While it is not uncommon for the buyer or seller to be surprised by a turn of events in a real estate transaction, it can be a real problem if the attorney did not see the problem coming either.
In some parts of the country, a licensed real estate agent can take the place of an attorney during a real estate transaction. But what happens if you want special conditions put into your contract, or if you don't understand something that is very specific to your transaction? It is convenient, and even cheaper, to allow your real estate agent to act as your legal representative, but it is not very smart. A real estate agent cannot answer your legal questions, and an agent is going to be less likely to be on your side during a difficult negotiation issue.
Contrary to popular belief, a real estate lawyer does much more than review the contracts and show up for the closing. Your attorney represents you during negotiations, handles title search issues, and makes sure that all of the amendments you have asked for in the sales agreement are included. Real estate attorneys earn their keep, and your transaction would benefit from the services of a professional attorney.
When you are buying or selling a home, you need to hire a licensed real estate agent and an experienced real estate attorney. When you get an experienced real estate attorney involved in your transaction, you eliminate the issues that could come up later and cost you thousands of dollars to fix.