Buying or selling a home involves multiple steps, and one wrong move may stop the process in its tracks. If the sale goes through, the buyer or seller might encounter difficulties that are challenging to resolve after the fact. Although Texas doesn’t require an attorney to assist in the real estate transaction, it is wise to have one working on your behalf. While the real estate agent is there to help, they use standard forms that might not address all situations. When should an attorney be retained?
Unusual Situations That Call for Legal Representation
Certain situations call for legal representation when buying or selling a home. If one party backs out of the sale after they have reached an agreement, the attorney addresses the matter to ensure their client is protected. The home inspection might lead to the need for repairs to the home, and the attorney negotiates on the client’s behalf as they determine which party will pay for the repairs. A Corpus Christi Real Estate Lawyer also becomes of great help when dealing with a short sale.
Contact an attorney when selling a house that is part of a relative’s estate or when you want to sell a home while a tenant remains under a lease. You need the attorney for situations where a large property is to be sold and part of the land is reserved for agricultural use. Always work with an attorney when selling a residence that you jointly own with a person to whom you are not married. Finally, work with an attorney when you sell a home with structural issues. The attorney doesn’t cost much and can be of great help in ensuring you remain protected during and after the sale.
Why a Real Estate Attorney is Always Helpful?
People turn to a real estate agent when they wish to buy or sell a home. The process involves many steps and brings together numerous individuals. For example, the agent helps set the price for the home, advertises it for the client, and holds open houses. When helping a buyer, the agent identifies potential properties, takes the buyer to see the properties, and helps complete the sale when a residence is selected.
The real estate agent receives a commission from the sale or purchase of the home. To ensure they receive these funds, they often make the seller enter a broker’s agreement. This isn’t required of the buyer. The agreement lists the commission to be paid upon completion of the transaction along with when this commission comes due. Certain triggers lead to this payment being required.
A buyer might find they must pay a commission even when the home does not sell. They could end up paying more than one commission, depending on how the agreement is written. It’s wise to consult an attorney to ensure the triggers are fully understood and the seller is receiving fair treatment.
In addition, the agreement likely includes an exclusivity period. During this period, the individual cannot work with multiple real estate agents. They remain tied to the one they signed the agreement with. If the relationship sours for any reason, breaking the agreement can present a challenge. Speak with a real estate agent before entering the agreement to protect your rights in the event this type of situation arises.
The attorney works on behalf of their client, protecting their interests above all else. In contrast, real estate agents look to close the deal. Their fee comes from a successful transaction, and they keep this in mind at all times.
Consulting an Attorney
It is wise to consult a real estate attorney before moving forward with the purchase or sale of a property. The attorney may not be needed as the process moves forward. However, they are of great help in answering any legal questions at the onset of the process. This consultation provides each party with peace of mind, and no price can be put on that.
The Purchase Agreement
When it comes to the sale of a home, the purchase agreement serves as the most important paper. Many real estate agents use standard, preprinted forms, but they may not be appropriate in your situation. If this form is used, the attorney will explain what each term on the form means and help you make changes if necessary.
For example, the current owner may have renovated one or more areas of the home. The prospective buyer needs to know these renovations comply with local building codes and received approval from the HOA.
The agreement should outline what happens when the home inspection brings to light problems with the property. It also needs to include information about the legal outcomes in the event the deal isn’t finalized for any reason. Who holds the down payment in escrow? What happens if the financing falls through? These questions are only a few of the many inquiries an attorney can address and ensure are included in the purchase agreement.
Sellers must share specific disclosures with a buyer under current Texas law. These disclosures must be made “on or before the effective date” of the agreement. The attorney becomes of great help in putting together the necessary disclosures. Furthermore, they make certain the form reaches the appropriate parties before the deadline. A failure to provide the disclosures in a timely manner leaves the door open for the buyer to exit the deal. The attorney makes certain everything is in place so this does not happen.
Closing the Deal
When it comes to real estate transactions, closing remains the most important part. Closing documents, including the property deed, are prepared ahead of time so they can change hands at the closing. The closing statement must be included in the documents, as it outlines the closing costs and which party is responsible for each fee listed. The attorney explains each closing cost, its amount, allocation, and fairness.
Buyers and sellers often become confused by the closing process. Many people are present at this time, including the title company’s representative and the seller. Having an attorney on hand ensures your interests are protected.
Contact an attorney today before moving forward with your real estate transaction. This is one area where you don’t want to make any mistakes, as they can be costly. The money you spend will pay off when the transaction moves forward smoothly from start to finish.
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