For the average home buyer, real estate law issues may seem like one great big mystery. When you’re looking into buying a home, though, it pays to do your research and become a bit of an expert on this side of law as a layperson.
If you know your rights and responsibilities as a home buyer, it can make the process much smoother and easier. It can also help you in the future if you ever decide to sell your home or purchase a second home. Overall, the more you know about real estate law issues as a home buyer, the better a position you’ll hold in this housing market.
What are common real estate law issues?
While there are many different real estate law issues that can impact potential home sellers and buyers, there are some problems that come up more frequently than others in real estate. One of the most common issues real estate lawyers see is contract disputes. When one or both parties violates the contract or contract terms seem misrepresented, it can present a problem in the real estate world.
False advertising is another issue that can warrant hiring a real estate attorney. If the property listing misleads a buyer or is unlicensed, it can get the seller into hot water legally. On a related note, intentional or unintentional misrepresentation of the property can also present legal problems for real estate agents. In these cases, new homeowners may be troubled to find that their property boundaries are not as stated in the initial walk-through. In other cases, structural or environmental problems that weren’t addressed during the showing process might count as misrepresentation.
When you’re buying a home, it’s important to know that you have rights. If the home seller misrepresented the property, participated in deceptive advertising, or violated the contract, you should consult a real estate attorney right away. Ideally, when you’re buying a home, it’s best to have a real estate attorney on your side early in the process. Still, it’s better to hire a real estate attorney late than never. Once you have the right real estate attorney on your side, you’ll be better equipped to deal with whatever comes your way in real estate law issues.
When should you hire a real estate attorney?
With most issues, prevention is better than waiting until a problem arises. As a result, we recommend hiring a real estate attorney before you notice a real estate law issue on the horizon. Once you know you plan on buying a house, consulting with local real estate attorneys is a wise step to take. With a real estate agent and real estate attorney on your team, you’re sure to succeed in buying the home you want.
Make sure that the contract satisfies contract law requirements
When buying a home, you might think that you can just sign on any dotted line and make an effortless transfer of home ownership happen. With contract law, this is simply not the case. When you’re buying a home, the contract for the sale of the home needs to meet certain requirements to be legally binding. For example, it must include some clause that requires a home inspection. It also can’t violate any real estate laws. Otherwise, it would risk being void and open you to a sticky legal situation. In some cases, having a poorly written contract could present legal problems for you and the seller. To avoid this issue, having a qualified real estate attorney’s ideal.
If you’re working with a real estate agent or attorney, you’ll want them to advocate for inserting a provision for home inspection if it’s not already in the contract. Otherwise, you may run into legal issues in the future. What’s more, you might end up not needing a home inspection and find that the home isn’t safe to inhabit after the keys and title have switched hands. To avoid this mess, hire a real estate agent or attorney who understands contract law to ensure that you’re protected from this kind of problem.
Know the current owner’s rights in a foreclosure
If the previous owners have a foreclosure lawyer, you’ll want to prepare for a potential legal battle if they intend to defend themselves. While a foreclosure house can be a more affordable option than buying a home at a fair market rate, investing in an attorney who’s familiar with real estate law can be a wise use of resources.
When the previous owner wants to keep the home, you should become aware of their rights so that you don’t infringe on them. When you know the other side of the legal situation, you can prepare to take the necessary steps to counter it. While it’s good to research foreclosure laws on your own, bringing an expert into the picture is necessary in many cases. Having a foreclosure attorney by your side can make the process less intimidating. It can also give you practical strategies to buy the home of your dreams without more of a headache than necessary.
Foreclosure laws can be complicated to understand if you’re not an attorney with expertise in that area of law. Additionally, when the homeowners whose house is going into foreclosure want to stay in their home, it can add extra layers that complicate the situation further. I
In cases where the previous owners intend to defend their right to stay in their home, it can prolong the process. While you may be tempted to give up, a proper attorney can advise you on how to proceed efficiently with buying a foreclosure. He or she can also let you know if it would be a waste of time and resources to try to get the house if it seems like the current owner’s defense is strong.
After taking the time to find a bankruptcy foreclosing house on your own or with a qualified real estate agent, you may think the hard part of buying a house is over. Finding your dream home may be tough, but the truth is that securing and buying the home can be more of an uphill battle.
If your dream home happens to be a bankruptcy foreclosure, you’ll have a little bit of extra hoops to jump through before you can call it home sweet home. Even so, it’s not impossible to transfer ownership and buy the home if you’re serious about it. Having the right team helping you along the way can make all the difference when you have a complex home buying journey.
For this reason, we recommend hiring an attorney with experience in the area of real estate law issues that match your specific situation. For example, if you’re buying a bankruptcy foreclosure, brush up on bankruptcy laws and consult a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure that you’re protected during the home buying process.
Hire an attorney with expertise in your specific real estate law issues
While you may be tempted to hire a general lawyer if their rates are better than a specialist, it pays to have an attorney who knows the side of law you’re facing inside and out. A bankruptcy lawyer or foreclosure lawyer will come in handy if you’re trying to buy a foreclosure home. If you plan on purchasing a house off the market that’s not a foreclosure home, a real estate attorney will certainly be more helpful than a criminal defense attorney would be.
Although it might seem like any lawyer is better than no lawyer, having someone on your side who took the time to study and practice your area of real estate law will make a world of difference. When you’re buying a home, you’re probably already spending a lot of money, time, and energy searching for the right place. Once you find the property that you could see yourself and your family enjoying as a home, you’ll want an experienced attorney with the right set of knowledge and skills to help make owning your dream house a reality.
If you know that you would prefer to purchase a foreclosure home early in the search for a home, it may be a good idea to start looking into foreclosure attorneys as soon as you start looking for a real estate agent. This will help you budget and plan for the legal fees that may come up. It will also ensure that you have an attorney by your side if the right house pops up on short notice. Simply having the contact information and rates of a few real estate attorneys that you would trust in your back pocket can provide peace of mind when you’re searching for a new home.
File and return paperwork promptly
When you’re buying a home, time can be of the essence for securing the home you want. While you may be tempted to put off filing paperwork or returning documents, it’s in your best interest to turn in paperwork to real estate lenders, property managers, and house appraisal companies as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you might miss a deadline or delay moving into your new home. You may even lose out on a home that you truly love if you procrastinate on paperwork.
When you turn in documents promptly, you’re showing lenders, sellers, and others involved in the process that you’re serious about buying a home. This can go a long way in getting you in the good graces of these entities. What’s more, you’ll be able to feel confident and empowered in knowing that you’re doing everything in your power to get the home you want. Asking your attorney and real estate agent about timelines for returning documents and sharing information with lenders can be a great way to stay on track, as well.
Minimize taxes as you remain compliant with tax laws
Since taxes can be confusing and downright stressful to figure out as someone who isn’t an accounting professional, you should add “hiring a real estate CPA” to your house hunting to-do list. When you have a real estate CPA on your side, you can rest assured that your tax bill for your new house will be as minimal as possible while maintaining compliance with pertinent tax laws.
Although you might think that you can figure it all out on your own, the money you save from lowering your tax bill can make your real estate CPA worth the price. Tax law can be tricky business for first-time homeowners, especially. Even if you know a little bit about tax laws and requirements, there are still probably some deductions and possible savings to be had if you ask a real estate CPA to evaluate your situation.
Look into homeowners insurance policies and laws in your state.
As a new homeowner, you’ll want to get your home covered by an appropriate home insurance policy before you move into your new home. Otherwise, you may be liable if a guest experiences an injury in your home or damage occurs while the home is vacant. New homes can be vulnerable to crimes such as break-ins and theft, so ensuring that your home is covered by home insurance can help you replace items in the event of this type of tragedy.
Reduce costs where possible so you can afford legal fees
Because hiring an attorney can be expensive, you’ll want to cut costs where you can in other areas of the moving process. For example, hiring affordable movers from a reputable moving company can save you money that you can put back into real estate attorney fees. Choosing relatively low-cost house painters can also lower your moving bill and give you more resources to pour into attorney costs.
As a future homeowner, you should know your rights and responsibilities. Even so, there’s only so much that you may be able to find on your own about real estate law issues. For more intensive assistance with complex problems, hiring a real estate attorney might be your best bet. From house foreclosure problems to contract disputes to misrepresentation, there’s a lot that can go wrong legally before you close on a house. Having an attorney who’s been through it before can get you that much closer to closing on your ideal home.