Purchasing a home is a big deal, especially if it is your first home. For most people, their homes are the highest-value assets they will ever own. After you sign your purchase contract, most home buyers hire a title and escrow company to investigate their title, as recommended by their broker. There are downsides to hiring a run-of-the-mill title company to handle the legalities of the transfer of title, and the purchase of your home.
Title Companies and Real Estate Agents do Not Owe You a Legal Duty
Title agents are mainly responsible for making sure your property sale closes on the closing date. They do not act as your legal representative, and they do not have a legal duty to work on behalf of your best interests. On the contrary, a real estate attorney owes his or her client a duty to represent the client’s best interests. Your lawyer only has one main concern, and that is representing your legal interests throughout the sale of the home. Title companies are also limited in what they can do to help you. They cannot do the things that lawyers are trained to do, such as the following:
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Push back against requests from the other party that are unrealistic or unfair
- Advise you when backing out of the deal might be in your best interest
- Refuse to close the real estate transaction until certain conditions are met
Title companies may be able to push both parties into closing, but only an attorney can ensure that your legal and financial interests are represented throughout the entire process. Your lawyer owes you a duty to ensure that you receive the best deal possible from the real estate transaction.
You Will Often Save Money by Hiring a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer to help you through your real estate transaction does not cost much more than hiring a title company. In some cases, the cost will be the same. Even if the cost is the same, lawyers often provide a much better value of the price. Lawyers can negotiate on behalf of their clients, while title companies cannot. For example, a lawyer can call the other party and firmly negotiate, or demand that the other party pay some or all of the closing costs of the transaction.
If there is a contract dispute or a problem with the title, the title company is limited in how they can address the issue. On the contrary, a lawyer can use his or her legal knowledge to resolve the title issue efficiently and quickly. Lawyers have the overall knowledge of property law that title companies do not have. In many cases, when lawyers are involved in real estate transactions, both parties save time when it comes to closing out the deal.
Hiring a Lawyer Will Give You Peace of Mind
We have all heard horror stories regarding real estate transactions that revealed extremely serious problems. Perhaps you discover a serious problem with the title. Or, perhaps the property is not zoned correctly. When you hire a lawyer to review your transaction, you will rest easier at night knowing that your lawyer is reviewing the transaction for any potential problems. Lawyers understand the nuances involved in real estate transactions in a way that realtors and title company employees do not.
Your Attorney can Help You Resolve a Contract Dispute
Sometimes, real estate transactions never actually close. The two major causes of a failure to close involve contract disputes and title issues. Some title issues cannot be resolved in time to close on the house. They may require legal action, such as submitting a quiet title lawsuit. If you have hired a lawyer to represent your best interests, your lawyer will already be familiar with your situation and can quickly take whatever legal action is necessary to keep the deal alive.
If you have not hired a lawyer at this point, you will need to schedule an initial consultation, meet with a new lawyer, and bring your new lawyer up to speed on the details of your case. All of this will cost you valuable time. While you work to find a new attorney, the issue may escalate between you and the other party. When you have hired your own lawyer from day one, you will be prepared and ready to handle any potential problems that arise during the real estate process.
Real Estate Lawyers are Different From Attorneys
Real estate agents may know a lot about the home buying process. Yet, they will never have the knowledge and experience of lawyers. Even brokers and agents with decades of experience selling properties in your local real estate market do not understand the legal intricacies of real property issues. Also, real estate agents are forbidden from giving any type of legal advice to their clients. The Florida Association of Realtors as well as Florida law prohibit real estate agents from offering legal advice.
On the contrary, lawyers can edit your purchase agreement to make it better to suit your needs. Most realtors use boilerplate, generic purchase agreements. While those may work in some cases, in many cases, they don’t adequately protect you as the purchaser of the home. Your lawyer can help you negotiate the terms of your purchase agreement so that you won’t have to use the generic boilerplate information. Your lawyer will also go over your purchase agreement with you before you sign it so you will understand how the contract works. This is especially helpful if you are a first-time homebuyer.
Contact an Experienced Real Estate Lawyer
Are you considering purchasing your first home? If so, we can help. We have helped many clients throughout South Carolina successfully close on their new homes. Contact our experienced Blufton, South Carolina real estate lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.