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Three Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Lawyer Before Signing

More often than not, buyers and sellers wrap up their real estate deal, sign on the dotted line and then head to the lawyer with papers in hand. Many times, things go smoothly. In other situations, a transaction goes awry, leaving one side with a financial or legal headache that might have been avoided with the earlier intervention of a real estate lawyer. Our post this week looks at three reasons why a wary legal eye at the outset is a wise investment.

Cutting Through The Verbiage

Sometimes, a single, small detail buried within a purchase or sale agreement's wording can be the root of significant trouble.

In one case, transactional paperwork mixed up the terms encroachment and easement - the former involves unwanted intrusion, while the latter allows for legal use of one's land by others. Had a lawyer not caught the wording, the client would have been saddled with extra costs, time and aggravation to remedy the mistake after the fact.

The Devil Is In The Details

A real estate lawyer can also tweak "standard" contract wording to protect a signee's interests and head off preventable problems.

For example, making a purchase conditional on financing is common. A real estate lawyer can go even further by stipulating financing that the buyer actually wants. This detail provides an exit route in case a buyer fails to obtain a mortgage rate suited to his or her financial situation.

Avoiding New-Build Surprises

Buying a home before it's built comes with both excitement and risk. Set aside the glossy ads and promos, and buyers need to wade through reams of details in multi-page purchase agreements.

Condo developers often tack on costs that new buyers may be unaware of. These could include amounts for water meter installation, collection of governmental education levies, completion of communal landscaping, or occupancy fees before the building is registered. A lawyer can add a simple clause to cap these amounts so that buyers have a fixed, maximum dollar amount to expect in the final purchase price.

With one of life's most significant investments at stake, paying for solid legal advice in the early stages is a prudent decision.

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