Are you looking to sell your home? Are you wondering if it’s worth your time and money to hire a real estate closing attorney?
An experienced realtor can certainly help you locate the right documents needed to sell your home. But the closing itself is a legal matter. If you aren’t an experienced lawyer yourself, you’ll need to hire a real estate attorney.
You are currently required to hire a real estate lawyer in twenty-one states. In others, it’s simply a good idea and an excellent investment.
Here are some reasons you should be looking for a qualified lawyer.
Keep Yourself Protected
You’re excited about selling your house and moving on to the next phase of your life. Maybe you’re retiring, upsizing, or moving on to another career venture.
Your sale could go smoothly, but you’ll want to protect yourself in case it doesn’t. What if an inspection reveals an illegal structure, termites, or led paint hidden somewhere in your home?
An attorney will know your needs and be able to represent your interests properly during the process. They may, for example, draft contingencies to make sure you’re protected. You won’t want to end up paying for any problems you unknowingly didn’t report when selling your home.
Searching For Liens
You may have purchased your home from someone else who had liens against the property. This is when the owner took out loans against the home as collateral when doing work on the house.
A qualified lawyer can search for liens and structure your contract so your buyer won’t end up paying for the loans of previous owners. You won’t lose the sale of your home.
You may be selling a home with a former spouse or someone else not currently living in your household.
A number of factors come into play here that need to be addressed. They include your state’s laws, prenuptial agreements, and the state of your finances.
You’ll want to make sure your interests are protected, especially if you’ve been investing in and maintaining your home. A qualified lawyer is necessary to ensure that you receive as much from the proceeds of the sale as you’re entitled to.
Selling For a Deceased Owner
If you inherited a property, you’ll need to go through a legal process called probate before you’re allowed to sell the home. A lawyer can help you manage any outstanding fees associated with the property, including debt and taxes.
You’ll also need a lawyer to review your trust and make sure you’re entitled to sell the property.
If you’re selling the property along with other trustees, a real estate attorney can protect your interests and help make sure you get as much as you’re entitled to.
A real estate attorney is especially necessary if you aren’t familiar with the home you’ve inherited and what its strengths and weaknesses are. They can help you prepare for any concerns that could come up during a sale and make sure you’re investment is protected.
Closing on a home may involve a lot of paperwork that requires legal know-how.
A purchase agreement, for example, outlines the purchase price and other conditions associated with the sale. There could be complications with this that need to get addressed legally.
Problems could arise if changes to the property were not done lawfully, or if there’s a problem with the inspection. And you will need someone to spell out what happens if the closing doesn’t end up taking place.
A title search must also be done. In some states, title insurance isn’t common. In these cases, an attorney is required.
A closing requires a prepared deed and other closing papers. These pass the title from you to the buyer.
An attorney can prepare the deed and explain closing costs to you. They can make sure they are fair and explain the documents to those who don’t speak legalese.
Finding the Right Real Estate Closing Attorney
Attorneys come with all types of personalities. You’ll want to find someone who’s reputable and experienced in real estate law.
Ask trusted friends and family members for recommendations, or your real estate agent may be able to recommend someone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Did they feel that their interests were represented? Were all communications answered promptly? Were there any unexpected fees?
If you can’t get any personal recommendations, search up local real estate lawyers online. An attorney experienced in real estate law should have information about this on their website.
A local attorney is key, as these professionals will have experience with the legal nuances and home prices in your area. If you find someone who seems to have a good online reputation, call them up, and ask for at least three references. Former clients should be able to confirm what you read about the attorney online.
The right attorney will be able to give you a clear explanation of their fees ahead of time. Make sure you get it in writing.
Before hiring a real estate lawyer, you can get estimates from at least three professionals in your area. Make sure what you’ll be paying seems reasonable for your home price and geographical area.
A qualified real estate closing attorney will do more than help you get papers ready. They can research and explain legal complexities about your sale so that you can understand them. And they can represent your interests to make sure you get the maximum amount you’re entitled to.
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