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Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

By Eddie Gallese

At first glance it may seem like your real estate attorney is an optional member of the team you assemble to help you purchase a property. Skipping the services of a lawyer is especially enticing when you consider the cost of their legal counsel. But while many title companies say they can offer similar services as a real estate attorney at a lower price, it's important to consider the value of having a trained legal professional at your disposal. When you compare the cost of a lawyer to the entire cost of the property you are buying, the fee is not so colossal, especially when you consider the amount of money you could lose if the transaction goes wrong (and remember, buying a home is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make). Here are some of the things an attorney helps you with that would be very challenging without their help.

-- While your agent can help you navigate many of the complex documents you need to sign in order purchase property, they can be a little fuzzy on the legal stipulations of some forms. A real estate lawyer will make sure that you fulfill all of the agreements that were written into a contract, protecting you from the seller selling you over any of the fine print you might overlook.

-- A real estate lawyer can give you advice so that you minimize the amount of taxes you will have to pay on the transaction as well as general property taxes.

-- Sellers by law are required to disclose anything that might affect the price of a property. Having an attorney on your side is a good idea to make sure that the seller stays honest.

-- A real estate attorney will be able to alert you of any zoning laws that pertain to the property that might interfere with any renovations you have in mind. This is especially relevant for older properties that might have been built before current zoning laws and were grandfathered in.

-- If the property deed is not properly filed according to state laws you run the risk of having excess taxes imposed upon you.

-- If an attorney does not properly file the building permit properly you run the risk of incurring extra fines or even having to rebuild a structure.

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