What Could Go Wrong?: The Dangers of Purchasing a Home Without Legal Guidance

Home ownership is a serious undertaking with a long list of potential perils. While many home buyers don’t think to involve a lawyer until after a deal is made, you actually run several risks when you purchase a home without legal guidance. Take a look at some of the possible dangers that can arise when you buy a home without legal counsel.

Unexpected charges

Many people are reluctant to hire lawyers because of the expense, but have you thought about the money they can potentially save you? What if you bought a house and suddenly found yourself on the hook for property taxes, warranty protection, or other added charges? A real estate lawyer can help you cap the closing costs and avoid any unexpected fees. You may also be able to arrange a flat fee with the lawyers themselves, so you always know exactly what you’re paying.

Unfavorable negotiation outcomes

While they may appear to represent your best interests, real estate agents are paid when you successfully purchase a property. They tend to prefer that you close a deal rather than walk away—even if the terms aren’t as beneficial as they could be. Not only are attorneys more likely to uphold your best interests during the negotiation stage, but they also have more experience in that area. Attorneys are highly trained in effective negotiation skills, and they use these skills on a daily basis, both inside and outside of a courtroom. Without legal counsel, you lose the ability to make compelling arguments that uphold your interests—and your rights—as a property owner.

The contract doesn’t protect your interests

Contracts are designed to protect you from disagreements with the opposing party, but what if the contract is vague or missing important information? In addition to negotiation, lawyers are well-versed in contract language. The average person could easily skim over important details while reading a long-winded contract, but a lawyer can read the text thoroughly and ensure that it aligns with your interests. They will also ensure that all of the terms are clearly laid out, so there won’t be any ambiguity down the line.

Unable to pursue your intended plans with the home

Your plans may be as simple as buying a home and moving in, but what if you’re planning something a little different? Maybe you need to make some changes in order to rent a room, or maybe you’d like to rent the home for a while before buying it. If your intended arrangement is not properly communicated in the lease or purchase contract, you could end up in some legal trouble. An attorney will be able to judge if your plans are feasible and use the most accurate language to convey any unusual terms and conditions that you need to include.

Attorneys have a wealth of experience that can work to your advantage when you decide to buy a home. Many people opt to hire a lawyer in lieu of a real estate agent for that very reason. To make sure you avoid any potential legal pitfalls, speak to an established real estate lawyer and get the reassurance you deserve. The law office of Ray Garcia is here to help you with your next home purchase.