After mustering up enough for a down payment, after seeking out the best mortgages and after deciding to move to another part of the city or region to afford a new home, you realize that there is a lot more to owning property than just paying for it. There’s a lot of legal jargon involved.
It is true that most people believe that you just need a real estate agent, an approved mortgage and the right home in order to get a pair of keys. However, that is an oversimplification indeed.
Since this is your very first time acquiring a home, it is OK to be fully unaware about the ins and outs of buying a three-bedroom house or a one-bedroom condominium. No one will blame you for maintaining a desultory tone after just one week of going through the process.
This is why it is essential to tap the services of a real estate lawyer. A real estate attorney has seen it all and can guide you through the maze of homeownership. When you sit down with this professional, you will immediately come to understand just what you need to do.
Here are five things first-time homebuyers need to remember about real estate law:
1. Why It’s Important to Have a Real Estate Lawyer
A real estate agent? Check. A mortgage broker? Check. A real estate lawyer? Hold on…
Whether you are buying a mansion or a modest house, it is always a prudent idea to have a real estate lawyer on your side. A real estate attorney will help you ensure the home buying process will not experience any hiccups. Unsure what to do? Here are a few ways they can assist you:
- Ensure your rights as a homebuyer and a homeowner.
- Look into the various zoning regulations.
- Settle any conflicts you may have with the previous owner.
- Confirm if the contract and mortgage conditions are perfectly OK.
- Negotiate and draft the terms and conditions of the contract.
These are just some of the ways a real estate lawyer can be of some assistance.
2. A Full Disclosure Form
Once you have selected the home of your choice, a real estate attorney will request a full disclosure form from the seller. When they are legally requested for one, the homeowner will be required to inform you of all of the issues, problems and damages related to the property. Everything from a faulty drainage system to mold in the basement, they have to tell you.
In addition, you should also conduct a property inspection by a professional.
3. Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (AP&S)
Before you close the deal, it is crucial to have a real estate lawyer review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (AP&S). Since this is a complicated document, your lawyer can answer any of the legal questions you may have prior to signing on the line which is dotted.
4. Comb Through All of the Details
Due to the fact that this is the biggest investment you will ever make in your lifetime, you must comb through all of the details. And, indeed, this is where a real estate attorney steps in to help. Remember, real estate language is intricate and a lawyer will handle an array of tax, investment, zoning and other matters pertaining to the property.
5. Be Aware of the Costs
Finally, and any first-time homebuyer will not actually know this beforehand, you will come across a wide array of costs, and these financial details will be a terrific burden to you.
A real estate lawyer will inform you of the monthly utility costs, home inspection, homeowners’ association fees, property taxes, mortgage payments and, of course, lawyer’s fees. Of course, these are just to scratch the surface as you will have to endure a plethora of other costs.
When you think of real estate, you likely conjure up images of a real estate agent, a mortgage broker and a money lender. You probably won’t imagine a real estate lawyer helping you.
Now that you know you need one, you should search for the right attorney for your needs. In order to locate the best lawyer possible, you need to read past reviews, check up on their accreditation, ensure they have experience in the field and ask plenty of questions.
Once you have a real estate lawyer on your side, you have another ace in the hole.