Do you need to hire an attorney when purchasing a home? What can an attorney do that a real estate agent can’t?
Some states require hiring an attorney when purchasing a home or selling property, while in other states attorneys are not always utilized. In California, attorneys are not required to participate in real estate transactions but are nonetheless highly sought after by experienced home buyers. Consulting with an expert is always a best practice when making any significant financial decision. In fact, we think California should follow other states in requiring it. After all, real estate transactions whether commercial or residential, in the state of California, almost always involve large sums of money.
Real estate attorneys are licensed to practice law and are intimately familiar with all aspects of the home buying and selling process. An added advantage of hiring an attorney when purchasing a home is that they are trained to assess risk and can offer valuable guidance to help protect their client’s assets and minimize the likelihood of purchase and sale disputes down the road. Real estate attorneys can be beneficial at all steps of the home buying process. They can manage the progress of the transaction and review the brokerage contract and purchase contracts. Whereas real estate agents often use form templates, attorneys can draft the entire purchase contract or special provisions (addendum) to ensure the purchase and sale agreement is written in the light most favorable to their clients.
Even after much of the groundwork is done, the final steps of the home buying process involve vast pages of complex legal documents to review. A lawyer can help you navigate the closing documents and simplify the transaction with ease, much of which can be daunting for a first-timehome buyer. An expert attorney can assist with negotiating the repairs, monitoring the finance documents, reviewing the title, and even offer insight into understanding the mortgage documents.