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Do I Need an Attorney for a Residential Real Estate Purchase or Sale?

It may sound a bit excessive to retain a real estate attorney for a residential real estate purchase. Here is an example of a common scenario that you could face in a seemingly simple transaction. A real estate agent presents to you a contract to purchase a home.  The contract is about 15 pages long in a pretty small font (type size), and the real estate agent even represents to you that the contract is on a "standard form." You started to read the document, but you became overwhelmed by its length and complexity. A lot of money and a large mortgage will be on the line.  I can explain the documents to you, I can point out how costs may be allocated to your advantage, and I can suggest additional contract covenants which will favor you. And my counsel is not contingent on the closing of the home purchase.

Residential Real Estate Title Reports

And what about the title report (the commitment for title insurance) issued prior to the closing by a local title insurance company. Do you understand it? Do you understand that a title insurance company can insure title or ownership of land and improvements, and yet in the same title insurance policy deny coverage for events or problems arising out of recorded documents affecting the land? Do you understand that the exceptions to title (that is, those matters which the title insurance company will exclude from its coverage) may be so burdensome to an owner that it might be better not to purchase the land? I can review the commitment for title insurance, and if necessary review the recorded documents identified as exceptions to title, and interpret their impact on your purchase so that you may make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with the purchase.


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