Good Does It Do?
The Complexity of the Deal Makes hiring help make
Since real estate deals can be so complex, having an attorney
who is on your side can help. While they won't get involved with the actual pricing
of the home, they can help you negotiate terms and smooth the process.
state will require you to hire an attorney. In fact, some states discourage the
use of a real estate attorney. They think they clog up the process. But the truth
is, sometimes an attorney you hire is the only person who is completely on your
side during the settlement. Whether you really need one depends on how familiar
you are with the process and how difficult the deal is.
Here is a glimpse at just some of the ways real estate attorneys
can help you:
Cost vs. Value Price
is often just right.
For the money, they can be a great deal. The question
is whether to buy by the hour or by a percentage of the loan. There are divided
camps on this. Some say a flat rate is best because you know what you are going
to pay going in. Others say that hourly is best because it may be more efficient
and less expensive. The choice is up to you. Talk to a number of attorneys to
see what services they offer and try to determine the best payment structure for
your budget. Some will compromise and offer an hourly rate not to exceed a certain
amount. This could get you into trouble though, if the cap is reached before settlement.
If you look at the total amount you are spending on the loan, though. Spending
some on an attorney who will help protect your interests seems wise.
Question What do you owe?
You are going to be asked to pay a lot
of money during the settlement process. There are fees for inspections and points
and down payments and the mortgage. You need to review your budget and be prepared
to make some tough financial decisions. Do you hire an attorney and a home inspector
or can you just afford one? Which one is more important to you? The best answer
to that question is to look down the road and determine which is going to help
the most in the long run.
Are you better off knowing the house you are
getting is sound or are you better off getting a good deal that could save you
money in the long run? The ideal situation is to be able to hire everyone you
need to help ensure a successful deal. Unfortunately, a lot of buyers just don't
have the cash for that. Look around and compare prices. Then make up your mind
if you need professional help or if you are willing to trust the seller's broker
and attorney to help you too.
Important Tip They aren't everything.
important thing to remember with a real estate attorney is that they can't do
everything. While they can prepare the contract (in your favor) and perform title
searches and settlement work, they can't get involved in the price of the house.
They can help you negotiate, but they won't suggest a purchase price. They can
review language and refine agreements though, which could save you money in the
long run. In short, they keep you as their first priority and work to protect
your legal rights.
Rules of Hiring
There are some rules to
follow if you plan on hiring your own attorney:
First: Always contact
your attorney before you sign the contract. Plan ahead. This is where they can
really help you.
Second: Make sure they are available at odd hours,
because many settlements take place on weekends or at night.
Make sure that if you are paying by the hour that there is a clear schedule of
action and that you are always prepared for meetings so they can go quickly.
Look for attorneys who work well with brokers. Not all do.
Don't choose your attorney on the seller or seller broker's recommendation alone.
You want someone who is impartial to the deal and aligned with you. If you are
facing a complicated deal, such as one with multiple lenders, get an attorney.
The more deviations from the norm, the more you need legal counsel.
Let's Look at How to Find One
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