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Is hiring a lawyer when buying a property a good idea?

In lower Alabama, real estate agents negotiate between the buyer and the seller.  Plus, you can also close real estate through title companies.  With that being said, I would always recommend the use of a lawyer in real estate if necessary.

Buying property is no easy feat. Many people have mixed feelings even until they sign those papers. It is an ongoing debate about whether one should hire a lawyer when buying property or not. This post will address these concerns and provide recommendations.

Firstly, you are not required to pay for an attorney when purchasingany kind of property. It is the sole matter of choice. There are manyreasons behind appointing someone to do this tedious task on yourbehalf. But first, you need to find out what the law says about thisprocess.

In the United States, every statehas its own law regarding property sales. In many places, real estateagents are also not required. Estate agents make it easy to buyproperty by mediating on your behalf. However, estate agents alsocharge a commission which is passed on to the buyer.

Only a lawyer is qualified to dealwith situations that require legal intervention. Estate agents cannotcross this territory, and one needs professional advice from anexperienced lawyer. Moreover, the lengthy paperwork is done by yourlawyer so that you won’t have any second thoughts.

What will the lawyer do?

A real estate attorney’s work begins much earlier than the signing time. Mortgage, selling, or buying property can be mentally taxing, especially for those with a full-time job. An attorney steps in and makes the process as smooth as possible for you.

Local lawyers are better, but you can answer questions like, “should I find a real estate lawyer near me or do I have go for someone recommended by friends/family?”

When the deal is closing, the attorney makes sure that:

  • The loan documents are prepared correctly

  • The signatures are correct

  • The price is right, as decided between you and the seller

Often, many questions arise at closing time, which you won’t be able to deal with on your own. A lawyer answers all your last-minute queries and negotiates with the seller on last-minute changes. For example, during a pandemic like the Coronavirus, a lawyer can guide you best and help you make the right decision legally.

The mortgage documents are sometimes more than 100 pages long. Even if you want to, you cannot decipher what the document says without the help from a professional. The lawyer will discuss terms with you and take you through each point, so you are on the same page. This discussion is beneficial for both awareness and monetary reasons.

Is it essential for all transactions?

No expert will tell you that a lawyer is required for every real estate transaction. Most mortgage details nowadays are very plain and not hard for buyers to understand. In sales like these, buyers do not have to spend their precious money on hiring a lawyer.

For example, in case of a financial loan, the buyer must comply with all terms and conditions. A lawyer can explain it to you in a layman way, but cannot change the terms. However, negotiating terms is not possible,and you have to go with the flow.

You should go for a lawyer when the transaction is complicated or requires all-cash payments. In unique cases, it is a good idea to have legal backup and representation.

Before you close the deal

Right before it is time to sign, an experienced lawyer will ask for a property inspection. An inspection lays bare the need for fixes and changes in property. Later, you and your lawyer can negotiate those fixtures on the signing table. If the seller does not agree to significant repairs, the lawyer can ask price reduction so you can pay for those fixtures by yourself.

Local government taxes are also abig issue to take care of before moving to your new property. Lawyer speak into the documents of the seller to see if they have paid all their taxes with diligence. Any unpleasant surprises should get unraveled before you sign the deal. Otherwise, the government will hold the leash on your property.

In the digital world, financing is  not the same as bank transfers anymore. What if your seller expects bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency? Lawyers negotiate finances and mode of payment before you own the property. State regulations on financing are also a piece of cake to manage for a lawyer.

How to pay for a lawyer?

Most lawyers charge by the hour, ranging from $150 to $300 based on their experience. Then there are flat fees for specific tasks like preparing loan documents or negotiating fixes.

We recommend that you weigh your time and money carefully before calling the shots. It is up to you to hire a legal professional and determine their deliverables. Negotiate this contract sensibly with the lawyer and get all of the agreed terms in writing.

Parting Thoughts

We hope our post helped answer yourquestion regarding legal help. To sum it up, it is not a one-size-fits-all answer, so you have to decide based on your situation. We send you our best wishes in buying the property of your dreams!


Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice.She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share herdiscoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Youcan find her on Twitter:@IM_AndreaBell

Andrea Bell





This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.