As Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the real estate transaction world, one could say “an ounce of negotiation is worth a pound of litigation.” And it’s much more cost effective as well.
No one wants the purchase of their dream home or the sale of their residence to turn into a nightmare of post-closing litigation. So, whether you are the buyer or the seller in a residential real estate deal, having a real estate attorney who represents you is in your best interest. Here are some things to think about as you contemplate getting an attorney–or going it alone–in your real estate transaction:
On a very basic level, a real estate attorney makes sure your interests are protected in a real estate transaction. The other person’s attorney is not acting on your behalf in the transaction. And a real estate agent may have dual agency in Illinois and cannot provide any legal advice. The person in the room at the closing who is both knowledgeable of the law and acting solely on your behalf is your attorney.
In the sale or purchase of a home, a real estate attorney takes over where a real estate agent leaves off. Your agent assists in the negotiation process and getting everyone to agree to a purchase price on the home. But once everyone has “signed on the dotted line,” the real fun of modification periods, home inspections, and title clearance begins. This is where it is invaluable to have a good real estate attorney. A good real estate attorney will:
A real estate attorney reviews the contract to make sure terms conform with the law and are in your best interest. This means they make sure that there are no vague or unclear terms in the contract that could lead to litigation (court cases) down the road. Also, they make sure the terms are fair for you.
Purchase price is not up for negotiation once the contract has been signed. However, all other terms (such as closing date) and any credits/adjustments or repairs needed based on home inspection are negotiable. Your real estate attorney handles all of those negotiations for you so that you don’t have to.
Finally, on the big day, when the buyer signs all necessary paperwork related to financing, pays for the property, and you hand over or receive the keys, your attorney is there to walk you through the process. For buyers, your attorney is able to explain any terms or conditions that you don’t understand as you go through the final paperwork for completing the real estate transaction. In addition, your attorney is there to handle any last-minute hiccups that arise at the closing (something always does!) and ensure that things go smoothly.
Literally anything (and it probably will). That may be a slight exaggeration, but whether you are a buyer or a seller negotiating a financed or cash deal without a real estate attorney, you are taking a big risk. In addition to having to negotiate directly with the other party or with a more experienced and savvy real estate attorney on the other side, you risk missing something that could result in a court case being filed. If you think it’s expensive to hire a real estate attorney to represent you in a real estate transaction, the cost is minimal when compared to the quickly multiplying hourly fee that will be required if you end up hiring a litigation attorney.
When it comes to one of the most, if not themost, important transactions of your life, why tackle it alone and risk costly litigation? Hiring a real estate attorney will give you peace of mind and ensure that the transaction goes smoothly. Contact Nozari Legal today. Our initial consultations are always free!