Frequently Asked Questions

If I hire a real estate broker, why do I need to hire a lawyer?

Working with a real estate lawyer during a transaction is smart because of the protection it offers. Buyers can benefit from the legal protections and advice only a qualified real estate lawyer can provide. They can help with parts of the process that real estate agents are not licensed to handle, such as providing legal advice. A real estate lawyer can answer legal questions, which professionally speaking, real estate brokers aren’t licensed to do.

What provisions or language should be in a real estate purchase contract?

There are numerous elements of a real estate purchase contract, the most important of which is the purchase price. Additionally a real estate contract should include:

  • Legal names and current addresses of the buyer and seller
  • Amount and date of pay of the initial deposit
  • Date of transfer of title and balance due
  • Details of financing
  • Legal description of the land or property including the physical street address
  • Building inspection report
  • Seller warranty clauses
  • Conditions of sale

What is title insurance and do I need it?

It’s highly advisable buyers invest in title insurance because of the protection it offers. It insures against financial loss if there are defects in the title to real property and from invalidity or unenforceability of mortgage loans. Essentially, it protects you once you take ownership of the property if an unforeseen problem arises with the title to cloud the ownership of the property years after you purchase it – something that happens more often than you might assume.

If I have purchased a home and found that something inside the home was faulty when I purchased it, is there anything I can do about it?

It depends on what is faulty and the language of the contract, which is why home inspections prior to finalizing the purchase are so important. Also, make sure your attorney completes a title search. Sellers are legally responsible for revealing any defects they are aware of to the Buyers, but it’s difficult to prove after the fact that a buyer was aware of an issue. The more you can do in advance to prevent problems the better.

If I am purchasing or selling a home, should I hire an attorney to oversee the process?

Yes. It provides additional protection and ensures that all of the legal questions you might have during the process are handled by a licensed professional. A real estate transaction requires the signing of contracts and the transfer of a substantial amount of money. It’s always good idea to hire an attorney to protect your interests and ensure the entire process is legal and valid in cases such as this. This is true whether you are working with a real estate agent or broker or not.