Protect Your Purchase

Buying real estate is one of the biggest decisions you can make for your family. So why would you purchase a property without knowing whether your rights to use it are in any way limited? Why would you rely on a generic contract that was not written for your specific set of circumstances? Why would you sign it without understanding everything in it? Before committing yourself to a contract that will affect your life – and your wallet – for years to come, hire a real estate lawyer.
A lawyer will request and review all public records documents relating to the property. This is so she can fully inform you of matters that will affect your use of the property, such as easements and restrictive covenants, and to help you understand any limitations or restrictions prior to purchase. Wouldn’t you like to know, while you could still back out of the purchase, that you wouldn’t be able to build that pool you promised your kids because there is a conservation easement that prohibits making improvements in that area of the property?
A real estate attorney can help you to better protect your investment by negotiating with the title company (and the seller if necessary) to get coverage for items that have been excluded from the title insurance policy. A lawyer can also develop strategies to resolve title issues, such as unpaid liens, to keep the deal from falling apart or closing from being significantly delayed. Realtors and closing agents cannot do these things since they are within an attorney’s realm of expertise.
When considering such a large purchase, be sure to hire a real estate attorney before you sign the contract for purchase. There are many things that can affect the property in a way that would make it undesirable to you personally but that do not make it unmarketable under a standard real estate contract. Lawyers can – and should – negotiate for changes to the standard real estate contract to protect your specific interests.
As a purchaser, you would likely still have to go through with the purchase after discovering those undesirable items under a standard real estate contract. However, a lawyer will know to adjust the time frames in the standard contract so that you have all of the necessary information to make a fully informed purchase while you can still walk away without repercussions. Having language in the contract to protect you if you decide not to go through with a purchase is also a vital protection that an attorney can provide. In addition, a lawyer can negotiate to have some, or all, of your lawyer’s fees paid for by the seller when you get the lawyer involved prior to signing the real estate contract.
Having a lawyer on your side from the beginning can ensure a smooth closing on the right property for you and your family.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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