When Should You Engage a Real Estate Attorney for a Home Purchase?

Posted on: 6 March 2017

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Most home purchases are done with the aid of a real estate professional. But real estate attorneys are also available for more complicated types of real estate purchases. Most first-time home buyers who are buying a home to live in aren't going to need a real estate attorney -- but there are some exceptions. Here are a few situations in which you might want to engage the help of a real estate attorney. 

When There Are Special Ownership Considerations

Most first-time home buyers are either an individual or a couple. But there are situations in which you might want to buy a home with a friend or another family member. There are also situations in which you might want to split ownership irregularly, such as by having one person own 60% and one person own 40%. These situations really require a real estate attorney to make sure that neither party has any ownership issues in the future.

When the Home Purchase Isn't Going Smoothly

When serious issues start cropping up in a home purchase, then it may be time to involve an attorney. A seller can back out of a home sale at any time, but that also means that they should give you back your good faith payment if they backed out for their own reasons. If it seems as though a seller is giving you the run around, a letter from an attorney can make things much simpler.

When There Are Existing Tenants on the Property

Are there tenants on the property right now? If so, you're going to need to deal with them eventually. When tenants are on a property, you inherit an existing lease. It's up to you to cancel that lease. Tenants cannot simply be evicted during their lease because a property has been purchased. In order to make sure that you handle everything correctly, it's advisable to hire an attorney; landlord-tenant law is very complex.

When There Are Legal Issues With the Property

Properties can come with numerous issues that you need to explore further. A property may have a construction that isn't up to permit or may have an easement that is inconvenient. A property may have landlines in dispute or may have liens against it. If the property has any of these issues, a lawyer can help -- but keep in mind that unless it's a very hot market, you may be better off finding another property entirely. Talking to a real estate attorney like Steve Butcher Sr will help you decide what your next step should be.

Many real estate professionals already have a real estate attorney that you can use. Though a real estate attorney may cost a little money, most home purchases are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars; it's worth it to protect your investment.