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How can a lawyer help me in a real estate transaction?

If you are looking to buy a home this spring or summer, you probably are checking out a lot of online real estate listings and maybe going to a few open houses. You may be dreaming of renovating a kitchen to bring it into the 21st century or finally having a yard to enjoy on warm summer nights. But there’s one thing you are uncertain about as you consider buying a home: Do you need a lawyer to help you with your real estate transaction?

Having a lawyer help in the real estate process

In Delaware, real estate buyers must hire a lawyer as part of the transaction process. Often, lawyers are part of the closing process, making sure all the contracts and documentation for purchasing a property are in order. However, having a lawyer involved in your real estate buying process also can help:

  • Conduct a title search (to ensure there are no claims or liens on the property you intend to purchase)
  • Resolve any title defects, so the property has a clean title when you purchase it
  • Resolve any disputes over a property’s boundaries, easements or zoning
  • Review your purchase agreement to ensure it represents your best interests
  • Help you purchase a foreclosed property
  • Help you understand your purchase contract and mortgage loan documents
  • Prepare and review final closing documents to ensure they are executed properly

What to consider when hiring a real estate attorney

When you hire a real estate attorney, you want to choose someone who is the right fit for you. To do that, you need to find out if a real estate attorney has experience handling real estate transactions similar to yours. You also need to understand what fees a real estate attorney charges and when they require payment. If you already are working with a realtor, your realtor may have a good recommendation for a real estate attorney.

You may not like the idea of adding extra expense to the real estate buying process by hiring an attorney. However, you could save money in the long run if you plan to buy a property that has any title issues, neighbors who dispute where the property boundaries are or other legal issues a lawyer can resolve.

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