If you are in the process of buying a home, you may be wondering if you really need to hire a real estate lawyer to conclude the deal. The truth is, in many states you do not need to have an attorney, or even an agent, to buy or sell real property. However, since this is possibly the biggest financial deal you will make in your life, it is a good idea to have professional, expert help to make sure you understand everything about the deal and that you are getting exactly what you think you are getting in the deal. Here are a few things that can go wrong with a real estate transaction that could have been avoided if you had hired an attorney.
If the seller has had a situation in which a creditor has put a lien against the property, it may become a problem to you if it is not found before you sign the closing papers on the deal. This is especially true if the lien is due to property taxes not being paid. A real estate lawyer will go through all the records to make sure any liens on the property are paid in full by the seller, even if it is with the proceeds from the sale of the home. This way, you will not end up owing someone for a debt you did not incur yourself.
In addition to making sure there are no liens against the title, your lawyer will do a title search to make sure that the seller has the complete right to sell the property. In some cases, it may be discovered that the property was left to all the children of a family when the parents passed away. This means that all the children must agree to the sale and sign off on the paperwork.
Easements and Right-of-Ways
Sometimes, the local government has an easement on the property you are buying. This means that they have access and control over that portion of your land and you may not be able to use it as you had planned. In addition, there could be a right-of-way granted to a utility company that gives them not only a small piece of your land but access to it. You will be responsible for making sure that the utility company can get its trucks and workers to their equipment at any time they need it. You may not use the land involved in the right-of-way as your own. You may not be able to fence that section either, meaning you will need to put up two separate fences, leaving the right-of-way open.
A real estate lawyer will look over the sales contract and then the history of the property. You will know what you are getting into before you sign the paperwork. If you go ahead and sign without a lawyer looking over everything, once you sign, it is too late to rectify the situation; you will be stuck with the problem. It is no longer the seller's issue to fix.
For more information, contact a real estate lawyer like John M. Ogden.
If you've decided that you want to adopt a child, the first thing you should do is reach out to a family law attorney. While it may not seem logical to get an attorney involved from the start, it's important that you protect yourself legally from the beginning. After making the decision to adopt, I have been through the process several times. I created this site to help other adoptive parents understand what they can expect from the entire process, including the legal support you're likely to need. I hope this information helps you feel more confident in this major life decision.