Many people trust that the seller of the property they are buying is being fair, or that their real estate agent is covering all of the bases. Maybe they just don’t want to spend the money to have an attorney review real estate purchase agreements.
I have seen situations, though, where large escrow deposits are subject to being lost, costs of the sale are not being fairly split, or big issues exist over restrictions on use of the property or what interests are being conveyed in the sale.
Even if you trust the seller or real estate agent, it’s a good idea to meet with an attorney before you sign or draft a contract. Doing so could save you money, stress, and headaches.
The Benefits Of Consulting An Attorney Prior To Signing A Contract
Purchasing a home, farm and ranch, or other real estate can be a scary undertaking for many people. Fortunately, real estate agents these days are very well-trained in guiding purchasers through the steps to drawing up a good, legal contract to purchase a home.
In most instances, it is not essential to consult an attorney for a routine, simple purchase of a residence. However, even then, the assurance from an attorney that the terms are standard and fair to you may be worth the price you pay for an attorney to review the contract.
If the terms of purchase of a home are not a typical situation with financing by a standard lending institution, such as purchasing a home with standard mortgage lending, you probably will want to consult an attorney to either help you draft the contract or review one drafted by someone else. The terms for key elements of the purchase, such as what all is included in the sale, and who pays for what costs connected with the purchase, can vary widely. You need someone protecting your interests in the deal.
For the purchase of a farm and ranch or other real estate, again, the terms can vary so widely that most buyers will want to have expert legal advice. There are questions such as whether mineral interests pass with the purchase of the property or not, restrictions on the use of commercial property, and endless other details that you might not even think of without the assistance of an attorney.
The Cost Now Versus Later
The price you pay for this advice before signing a contract can easily save you many thousands of dollars and lots of headaches and trouble in the future. A review of a standard residential purchase contract generally would not be more than a few hundred dollars. More complicated contracts, of course, would cost more to review or draft, but the cost would still be far less than any negotiation or litigation later to address problems that arise.
It is easier to find an attorney who will review a contract or help you draft one before you purchase real estate than after the purchase when potential litigation arises.
Better safe than sorry!
If you have a contract you are considering signing or you need a contract drawn up, please schedule an appointment with Adair M. Buckner. Adair has helped thousands of clients through the years with the review and drafting of real estate contracts.
Proceeding, where what property belongs to each spouse is clearly set out, so that elaborate tracing of assets can be avoided.