Buying house isn't just a significant investment, it's also one of the most complicated processes a typical American will be a part of. The amount of paperwork that you have to prepare just to get approved for a mortgage is substantial. Tabling your offer, closing the deal and handling inspections will also add another layer of complication to the process.
Because of the amount of money that is at stake, the last thing you'd want to do is to end up with a raw deal. Does this mean it's a good idea to hire a lawyer when you're trying to buy a house?
Going Over Mortgage Documents
Before you get excited that your request for a mortgage has been approved, you want to be sure that you understand what you're getting yourself into. Many homeowners don't realize that the mortgage documents they're signing might come back to haunt them until it's too late. You should go over the mortgage documents with someone who understands real estate law and financing, i.e. a real estate lawyer.
Analyzing the Purchase Agreement
You should never sign a purchase agreement or any other legal document pertaining to the sale of the house until you're completely aware of the consequences. Many purchase agreements will have clauses that you may not agree with or that you'll want to be aware of such as:
The consequences of not closing, i.e. what becomes of the down payment
How the payment is to be made
Who will pay the closing costs?
Additionally, when you're buying, you may also want to ensure that purchase agreement covers your interests i.e.:
Not having to buy until you sell your existing house
What is to happen if the property contains hazardous waste
Who will pay for the repairs if the inspection uncovers certain faults
It's easy for such details to get lost in the paperwork. This is exactly why having a lawyer will ensure that the agreement you sign doesn't put you at a serious disadvantage.
Taking Care of the Closing
Although it's not always necessary to have a lawyer, they can assist in preparing the closing documents and ensure everything is handled in accordance with the purchase agreement. They can also ensure that the necessary documents are signed and the deeds properly transferred from the seller to you. To put it simply, a lawyer can ensure that your purchase isn't invalidated because you ignored a detail that you assumed was unimportant.
For more information, contact a local real estate attorney.