7 Reasons to Consider Hiring a Lawyer When Buying or Selling a House

Both buying and selling a home can be emotionally tiring, especially when you need to handle all the paperwork and negotiations. Luckily, most buyers and sellers can expect standard procedures which are generally handled by real estate agents, brokers and escrow companies that can guide you through the procedure. However, there are times when it’s smart to have another expert on your side—a lawyer. Here are some of the situations where the help of a lawyer might come in handy when buying or selling a house.

If you don’t have a real estate agent

If you want to buy or sell a house and you’re not represented by a real estate agent, you can come across issues concerning so-called “dual agency”. During this process, the other party’s agent may offer to take care of everything, which means your interests will be totally neglected. In case you face any sort of obstacle during the deal signing, the agent will probably take their client’s side. On the other hand, buy hiring a lawyer, you can be sure they will always have your best interest in mind.

If you want to change the exterior of the property

Certain organizations have strict rules about house interior modifications, including everything from teardowns to solar panel installation and new paint color. If you want to ensure you understand these rules and gain approvals for your future house modifications, a lawyer will explain everything and ensure you can move forward with the deal and renovations.

If there’s an issue with the property

Certain properties contain technical issues that a lawyer can help you understand. Things like rights of way, boundary disputes or easements can be quite complicated to handle and you might require good legal advice if you get into a dispute with the seller or buyer. In case you get threatened with a lawsuit, always hire a lawyer.

If you’re selling a deceased family member’s property

This is a touchy subject for many people, and even if your relative had all the estate planning things under control, there still might be some issues to handle before you can sell the property. An experienced lawyer can help you examine the will and other documents left after the family member’s passing and ensure your sale will go smoothly. Also, by hiring a local wills and estate lawyers, you can get great advice and ensure your family is left with uncomplicated documentation and clear will after your passing. When dealing with loss and tying up loose ends, it’s great to tackle your own accounts for the future.

If you’re going through a divorce

If your marriage is over and you want to sell your marital home, it’s good to have a lawyer on your side. This is especially true if you and your ex do not get along well. Hiring someone who understands the implications of selling a house when going through a divorce will ensure you understand all the questions concerning ownership and how divorce will affect the sale.

If you’re an out-of-town buyer

If you come from another state or country, you might not be familiar with the local city, state or federal regulations concerning property sales. A lawyer will explain everything from tax withholding requirements and exemptions to transfer taxes and other legal requirements. Even if you have experience in buying or selling property in your own area, it’s good to hire a professional for your first local transaction.

If you don’t feel comfortable with contracts

How do you feel when faced with signing a 10-page legal agreement without any advice and guidance? Even if your real estate agent says the contract is “standard”, you still might feel a little bit of panic. However, by hiring a lawyer, you will find out everything about the impact of the agreement and what you’re agreeing to do under it. There are so many things contained in these legal agreements (deposit terms, title issues, resolving of title issues, seller disclosure forms, document delivery terms, contract canceling terms) so you might feel more comfortable having someone who understands the terminology on your side.

Buying or selling a house is usually one of the biggest transactions in a person’s life. If you don’t want to make a mistake and leave any regrets for the future, hire a lawyer and ensure everything goes smoothly.