“I’m not going to hire a real estate lawyer because they’re too expensive.” “I don’t really need an attorney, I’m sure I can figure this out on my own.”
We all love saving money, and for many people it seems counter-intuitive that a real estate lawyer could actually save them money, instead of just costing them. But for legal matters relating to your home (likely your most valuable investment!) the cost of a good lawyer is a drop in the bucket compared to what you’ll pay in legal mistakes.
“A large portion of my business is helping solve problems that could have been avoided had the client come to me from the start, when they first made the contract they’re now disputing,” says attorney Merideth Nagel. “We could have avoided the problem from the beginning, but now an avoidable problem has turned into a $25,000 litigation.”
Not convinced? Here are three specific ways hiring a real estate attorney can save you money and protect your valuable investment.
Contract Review: Ensuring Your Interests are Protected
Who is making sure all your technical questions are answered and that your overall interests are represented in fine print? A real estate attorney is integral to this process and can provide overall peace of mind while you’re wading through mortgage agreements and paperwork. These agreements are extremely complicated. Without an attorney, there’s always a risk you’ll make a mistake which could end up costing you thousands of dollars later, and by then you’ll definitely need to call a lawyer anyway.
Title Protection: Making Sure You Actually Own What You’re Buying or Selling
A real estate attorney’s main goal is to prevent expensive problems for their client’s future. An attorney can guarantee that the home you’re purchasing or selling has clean title, and protect you from situations when a previous owner comes out of the woodwork with claim to the property. They can also navigate zoning issues, as well as any legal restrictions imposed by a prior owner that may hinder your ability to buy/sell.
Closing Costs: Successfully Navigating Fees and Tax
Your real estate lawyer knows the ins and outs closings, and will be able to make sure you get a good deal on your closing costs. Additionally your lawyer can help avoid the extraneous fees title companies often charge. “Typically,” says Nagel, “we can save the clients hundreds in closing costs all while providing you peace of mind through the entire closing process.”
“I would encourage people, when embarking on the journey of buying or selling a property, to go see a lawyer. That lawyer of course does not have to be me – only a lawyer experienced in real estate matters,” says Nagel.
At the end of the day, hiring a real estate lawyer gives you peace of mind that all legal issues surrounding your property will be handled efficiently and most importantly, correctly. You want to ensure that you’re protected from fraud, loopholes, and from simple negligence. The decision is ultimately up to you!