You don't legally need a real estate attorney for every transaction, however, hiring one can be very beneficial for the average homebuyer. First, the attorney can review the house’s transaction history and title to ensure that the house is able to be sold and that no past owners will come back claiming to still own the house. Second, many attorneys can advise homeowners regarding their mortgaging options. Third, attorneys can help review the contract of sale to make sure that it is fair to all parties. Most real estate attorneys charge an hourly fee, although some charge a flat fee for their services.
There are people (Agents, Brokers, lenders, etc) who may tell you that you don't need a lawyer in the process. We disagree.
Document Review: If you have the resources and time, it would be a good idea to have your own lawyer review all of your documents in the home buying process. The more your lawyer knows about your purchase/sell from the beginning, the quicker and better able he will be to respond if and when something goes wrong.
We represent the buyer in the process of buying a home. Sometimes having a broker and/or agent isn't enough. You better be clear about the terms that go into your purchase contract. That offer that you make isn't just there for you. The seller also has rights and responsibilities. Sometimes standard contract terms are not enough. You need someone who can make sure that the terms of the contract are in your favor. Sometimes people working on commission simply are not motivated to act in your long-term best interest.
Earnest Money: Who gets to keep the earnest money when things go bad? A lawyer can fight for you so you don't lose your earnest money.
Extensions: Sometimes the lender has a lot of demands that may hold up the entire process. You want to make sure you have an advocate who can get an extension that all parties agree to.
Sometimes the buyer simply can't perform its duties and responsibilities. Sometimes s(he) can't get the lending approved and the person wants to hold up the sale to a new buyer. He may even go so far as to file a lawsuit and place a lis pendens on the property. This can affect the the title. So sometimes you may need a lawyer to enforce your contractual rights and to deal with an aggressive buyer.
Release: All releases are not the same. Make sure your release protects you from future litigation.
Breach of Contract: When one party or both parties make an allegation of a breach of the contract, you can try to renegotiate the contract. It would be a good idea to have a lawyer involved in this process. If renegotiation is not an option, and neither side is willing to back down, then you may be headed for litigation/court. You will definitely need a lawyer for litigation involving the breach of a contract for sale of residential real property. Our lawyer who represented you early on in the buying process can also represent you in your breach of contract case.
If you can't come up with the money to pay the mortgage, your only option may be bankruptcy. The real question is can you fulfill the requirements of the bankruptcy in order to save the house?
RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY MATTERS