Buying or selling a home is probably the biggest financial transaction you will make during your lifetime. In almost all real estate transactions, the buyer hires an attorney to go over the paperwork, ensure the title is clear and that the property is safe and in the stated condition. Sellers, on the other hand, often feel since there is one attorney checking things over, it is not necessary to hire one too. However, as the seller, you have different financial and legal concerns, and they can start long before you have a potential buyer. Here are a few reasons you should hire your own real estate lawyer.
The Real Estate Broker Contract
If you are not going to be selling the property on your own, a real estate broker and agent will be involved. Before your home is put "on the market," a contract will be signed that details how much commission the broker and agent receive from the sale and how long they have exclusive rights to selling your property. It will also explain what the agent/broker will do to try and sell your home. A real estate lawyer will go over this contract and explain all the different aspects of it and make sure it contains everything you want it to contain. You do not want to pay a broker or agent after the contract has expired or if he or she is not performing up to your expectations.
Finding and Removing Issues that Affect the Sale
If there are any liens on the property, or the survey shows a different plot than what you think you own, your lawyer will find out about it before you are getting ready to sign a sales contract. This will give you time to take care of the problem so you can make the sale without any surprises at closing. If the issue is inaccurate, your attorney will be able to get to the bottom of it and have the issue removed from the record.
Having your own real estate attorney when you are trying to sell your home ensures that you are protected financially and legally. He or she will go over all the contracts and make sure you are being treated fairly. If only the buyer uses a lawyer, you could get to closing and find that you are going to be receiving less money than you thought you would be getting after the real estate broker is paid and any issues found on inspections are fixed.
Contact a lawyer from a firm like Bangs McCullen Butler Foye & Simmons LLP to learn more about property law.