A home is an important investment – not only financially, but also emotionally. Choosing the right place for your family to spend years (or even decades) of your lives can be a stressful process. It can also be a complicated endeavor that you shouldn’t venture into without the advice of a professional.
You must consider whether you need to bring in a real estate attorney or if the services of a real estate agent are sufficient for your circumstances. And if you do need an attorney, at what point in the process should you bring them in?
Realtor.com recommends that you employ a real estate attorney if you are buying a home out of town, if you are purchasing a short sale or foreclosed property, if the property is part of an estate sale, if it may have some structural defects, or if the property is located in a problematic area such as a flood zone.
While these are all excellent suggestions, in today’s high cost real estate market where most home prices range from several hundred thousand and up to (or exceeding) the million dollar mark, even less problematic transactions may benefit from the expertise of a seasoned real estate lawyer.
Real Estate Lawyers and Home Buying: Timing is Essential
The time to engage a real estate attorney is well before your purchase contract is signed. After the agreement has been executed, there is less that an attorney can do to remedy any problems that may arise if they weren’t addressed in the contract. If your real estate agent feels that any aspect of the transaction is unusual, have an attorney take a look.
Only an attorney can make an accurate judgment on legal matters. Remember that your real estate agent wants to close the deal, while an attorney’s goal is to represent your best interests so it may not be a bad idea to engage their services as a precaution.
In addition to ensuring the contract is fair, an experienced real estate attorney can ensure that a property is free of financial encumbrances such as liens and tax obligations.
A real estate lawyer will conduct a title search on the property and suggest solutions for any problems that arise. A real estate attorney should also make sure that the deed is properly filed and that all other legal obligations are met.
A real estate attorney can also be of assistance in the event that the seller begins dragging his feet. You may suspect that the seller is holding out for a better offer. In that case, an attorney may be able to help you by filing a legal action known as a “li
s pendens” to speed the process or block other potential buyers. In other cases, a seller may be delaying due to reluctance or inability to fix a serious defect in the property.
You need an advocate on your side to ensure that these issues are dealt with swiftly.
Home Buyers: Protect Yourselves by Hiring an Experienced Attorney
The attorneys of Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess have over 40 years combined experience working with home buyers in the Seattle market. We pride ourselves on providing quality, cost-effective legal services and excellent customer care.
Whether you need assistance with a short sale, purchasing a foreclosed property or just need help closing the deal, Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess is here to help. Our extensive knowledge of the local real estate market and court system will benefit you. Call today for a free consultation.