Friday, May 15, 2009

Why Should I Hire an Attorney to Help Me Buy Or Sell My Home?

The risk of not hiring an experienced Real Estate Attorney can cost a buyer/seller thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. Since the purchase or sale of your home may well be your most significant financial transaction, you should not be penny wise, pound foolish.

Most people don't realize how complicated buying and selling a house really is. The procedure involves reading and drafting complicated legal documents (i.e. long, small print sales contracts) and requires a familiarity with the standard practice in real estate transactions. In addition, each step from negotiating terms to drafting to closing entails a significant amount of paperwork.

The Complex Process Most people will sell or purchase a home only a few times in their lifetime, but a Real Estate Attorney will close a sale or purchase of a home a couple of times a week. Plus, no two real estate transactions are the same. In fact, with each transaction you are likely to encounter different circumstances, obstacles and risks.

In order to buy or sell your house you have to complete a number of complicated tasks including the following:

1. Negotiate the terms of the Sales Contract: Experienced attorneys want to get the best deal for their client (even if it's at your expense).

2. Meet strict legal deadlines: Many real estate transactions fall through because deadlines are not met (this could cost you your dream home).

3. Obtain financing: Most contracts are contingent on financing and at closing the purchaser signs hundreds of pages of loan documents that only your attorney can explain.

4. Obtain inspections of the property: Your lawyer will conduct a title search to assure the seller is actually the owner of the property, has paid all the taxes, and there are no judgments existing against the property. In addition, your lawyer will hire an engineer to inspect the land and structure to ensure there are no hidden defects.

5. Obtain insurance for the property and/or mortgage: Mortgage lenders will require the home to be insured to protect their security interest.

Lots of Paperwork New York State laws can be particularly convoluted for home buyers and sellers, and each transaction involves a significant amount of paperwork. The documents are voluminous (i.e. hundreds of pages) and are filled with technical and legal terminology that is difficult for anyone not familiar with real estate transactions.

A buyer/seller should always have an attorney read the legal documents and explain the documents in laymen terms. In fact, even an attorney who does not practice in Real Estate law should hire a Real Estate Attorney to help him/her understand what each document means.

To learn more about New York real estate law, and for more information on how to buy or sell your home, please call 1-516-938-3100.

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