Why Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney?
Selling your home is likely one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and going at it alone could set you up for some serious legal consequences if you make omissions or mistakes during the selling process. You certainly don't need a realtor, but you definitely do need a real estate attorney.
These pros specialize in residential real estate and will do the following:
- Review all written communications and contracts. Your lawyer will go over everything that needs your signature, including sales contracts and binding agreements. Although the language of most standard contracts is fairly straightforward, it is in your best interest to have an attorney explain everything before you sign on the dotted line.
- Ensure you are protected. Your attorney will make sure that all contracts both benefit and protect you, and he or she will negotiate any changes to reach those aims.
- Negotiate and draft a Purchase and Sale Agreement.This complex and detailed document will be tailored for your real estate transaction. Mistakes on this piece of paper can cost you thousands of dollars or years of litigation, so only an attorney should draft it.
Real estate attorneys also:
- Prepare the deed and power of attorney.
- Attend the closing.
- Deal with title issues and correct them as needed.
- Arrange for the transfer of security deposits.
- If needed, arrange for insurance certificates.
- May act as escrow agents.
Why Do I Need a Title and Escrow Company?
If you are selling your home without a real estate agent, a title company can serve as an escrow agent. Your buyer will send an earnest money deposit check to the title company, which will deposit it in its escrow account. The funds will be held until closing, then applied to the buyer's closing costs. If the buyer backs out of the sale, you may be entitled to the deposit for breach of contract.
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