Most people think they only need real estate agents to transact real estate property deals, but this isn't entirely true. Here are some of the things a real estate attorney can help you with if you are buying a property:
Clarification on Legal Terms
You will have to deal with a few legal contracts before your house purchase process is complete. You need to understand all the clauses, terms and conditions, payment dues, closing dates, and contingencies, among others. This is necessary to ensure you don't agree to do something you can't or won't do. A typical purchase contract often runs into several pages, and all of them are important. Therefore, unless you are familiar or experienced with legal agreements, you probably need a lawyer's help to help you confirm that everything is above board and help you understand the contract too.
Legality of Additions
When you buy a home with an illegal addition, you assume all the liabilities associated with the illegality. This means, for example, that the local building department may fine you for the illegal additions or you may be required to upgrade the house and bring it up to code. Not only that, but you are also required to disclose the illegal additions if you ever decide to sell the house. This means buying a home with illegal additions has far-reaching consequences that you shouldn't buy such a house unwittingly. Since it can be difficult to know which additions are illegal and which ones are not, deal with a real estate agent to help you with the clarifications.
Legal Consequences of Breach of Contract
A real estate attorney will also help you understand the legal options available to you or the seller if either of you doesn't honor the contract. For example, what happens if you don't make the deposit in time? What happens if the seller lies to you about the condition of the house? Sure, you can consult a lawyer later if you end up in such a situation, but wouldn't it be better to know about your legal options before signing the contract?
Easements, Liens, and Restrictions
An easement is a legally-binding agreement that allows one person to use another person's property for a specific purpose without assuming control of the property. For example, a homeowner may allow a nearby business to create and use a path through their home. A property lien is a legal claim on a property; for example, if a creditor may place a lien on a property so that the property owner cannot sell the property before settling the debt. In most places, there are also restrictions on the type of properties you can construct or how you can use a piece of land. All these can affect your purchase of a home, and a real estate lawyer will help you understand all of them.