Why do I need a real estate lawyer?
Many times, my real estate clients buying a home have asked me “why do I even need a real estate lawyer"? As I sit there with the increased realization that some clients consider my involvement a mere formality imposed on them by others I also realize that their question is a valid one. I mean all my clients ever see me do is put papers in front of them and ask for their signature. What’s so hard about that?
I could spout off on the usual rhetoric we real estate lawyers say such as I am here to protect your rights and make sure the transaction is legally binding, instead I will focus on a few less obvious ones:
1. I read your entire contract. Sounds silly that I would consider that a bragging point but the fact is I may be one of the only ones that did. I know exactly what it is you are supposed to be getting and what you aren’t under the contract you signed. I can explain in understandable ways what the terms and clauses in your contract mean;
2. I investigate your title. When you walk in for your appointment chances are I know more about the title of your property than you do. Many of my clients don’t know they are subject to Homeowners associations, architectural controls, building and development restrictions; etc. I inform you of these things and tell you what it means for you;
3. I make sure you have your ‘ducks in a row’. Even if it’s simply making sure you have home insurance, or calculating the cash amount you need to complete your deal (there is more to it than just a down payment); or ensuring you signed all your legal documents or just even reminding you to set up your utility accounts. I am the typically the last person you will have a sit-down meeting with before the house becomes officially yours so it gives us a chance to a once over systems check to make sure you are on the right path.
There are certainly other things I could say to hopefully convince you that a real estate lawyer is an important part of your purchasing experience but I will leave it there for now.
Hopefully one day I get to be your real estate lawyer. I love my job and I am excited when my clients buy homes!