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Why Use a Real Estate Lawyer?

By Jessica Hajjar

For many, the idea of a simple, routine, hitch-free home purchase exists in the same cannon as the Easter bunny and Santa - fairy tales. It's true, buying a home can be complicated, prolonged, and?. Wait, is this scaring you away? Breathe easy - it is possible to survive the process without slipping on a proverbial banana peel, provided you have the right team of professionals on your side.

Considering you're already working with agents and bankers, you might wonder whether you really need a real estate lawyer. Keep in mind, any property transaction will include several legally binding contracts, all requiring your signature to move forward. It's best to have an experienced legal professional examine and interpret any contract for you. Always know what you're signing!

Real estate lawyers assist in negotiating the language of a Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S]. This contract is vital, as it outlines not just the financial numbers, but the terms, contingencies and deadlines agreed to by both sides. Your lawyer will ensure the final agreement adheres to state laws, and includes terms you can handle. Remember, defaulting on a P&S will likely cost you your deposit.

Real estate lawyers perform title searches to make sure the property is free of liens or judgments - as in, whether the seller legally owns the property. Your real estate lawyer also administers the escrow payment(s), insuring that all of the involved parties - inspector, title company, agents, the seller, etc, receive their payment.

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