Lawyers get a bad rep sometimes in this country, and that’s because people typically deal with lawyers during difficult times in their life. After getting arrested, when a loved one dies, when getting divorced, and similar painful life events all call for legal help. Fortunately, real estate law often involves more pleasant experiences, like buying your first home.
Many first-time home buyers don’t realize this, but it’s necessary for all parties involved to use the services of a lawyer when buying or selling a home. Without the help of real estate lawyers, buyers, sellers, and lenders can quickly run into challenges that could cause serious legal and tax problems.
Most home sales follow a similar path. A seller enters into a brokerage contract with their real estate agent to act on their behalf. When the real estate company finds a committed buyer, they conduct negotiations. Once final terms have been agreed upon by all parties, the buyer and seller have to enter into a contract for the sale. This contract ensures that the deed is transferred and also that both parties abide by the terms of the sale.
Of course, most buyers also enter into complicated mortgage agreements with a bank or lender, who must also be party to the negotiations.
The buyer’s bank, the seller’s bank, the real estate agent, not to mention the buyer and seller themselves, all have unique interests and rights in these negotiations.
Without an experienced real estate lawyer to draw up and review the contracts, the simple sale of a home can turn into a total legal fiasco. Plus, unless the seller is a lawyer, they are likely to overlook certain legal necessities that come with these types of contracts.
Real estate contracts are complicated enough, but doubly so in states like California, which has its own unique property laws to contend with. Some of these laws are bizarre — real estate agents must disclose any death that occurred on the property up to three years before the sale. Others protect tenants and homeowners from fraud and misrepresentation.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you’re buying a home. Without experienced real estate law attorneys to review the purchase agreement and other important contracts, there’s no way to ensure your rights are being protected. If you aren’t sure how to go about finding the right real estate lawyer, work with your real estate agent or bank to get started, or contact experienced real estate law firms in your area.