Buying a home can be exhilarating – and a little intimidating. For many people, the purchase of a home will be the single biggest financial transaction of their lives. It’s also a deeply emotional decision, and the consequences of a mistake can be devastating.
That’s what makes it so important to understand the role that your real estate attorney plays in protecting your interests and your future.
Why do you need a real estate attorney?
First, many states simply require an attorney to be involved in real estate transactions – and Delaware is among them. Even if an attorney wasn’t required, however, you’d be wise to use one. Your real estate attorney can:
- Make certain that the seller has clear ownership rights to the property, and that there are no unpaid liens or other claims against the property that could cloud the title and affect a clear transfer
- Investigate any restrictions on the use of the property itself through restrictive covenants on the deed, easements or other encumbrances
- Review the real estate contract itself to make certain that all the terms are clear and legally correct, and that monies are allocated correctly for everything from the tax obligations to homeowners association fees
- Preparing any disclosures and statements regarding funds to the mortgage holder and making sure that the statements on fees, taxes, title searches and more are properly described.
- Guide you through more complex property transactions, such as those involving for-sale-by-owner properties, short sales or foreclosures
- Help you spot problems that could impede the sale or closing in advance and facilitate the actual closing itself.
When there’s a great deal of money on the line – not to mention your family’s security – it’s always wisest to have experienced legal guidance from the very start. When you have a real estate attorney you can trust, that can make the entire home-buying process much easier.