When You Don’t Understand a Home Purchase Contract – Get an Attorney to Review It
A Home Purchase is a complex process requiring a lot of helpful expertise. Georgia has specific requirements for who, and what needs to be part of the transactions. These differ from other States, and this is why having a Real Estate Attorney involved in the early stages can save you surprises, later on, that could be very costly.
In this article, we’ll cover how you can most benefit from working with the Moreira Team and a lawyer during the transaction, and some of the pitfalls we can help you avoid along your path to home purchase agreement and home ownership.
In Georgia, in is not mandatory that you work with a Lawyer, who specializes in Real Estate. Your local agent is licensed to handle home purchase agreement and bills of sale. The only aspect of the transaction or negotiations he or she cannot help you with is legal advice.
Legal Consequences from Mistakes During The Home Purchase Agreement
Mistakes during this process can cause major headaches, later on, that can delay or even cause cancelation of the agreement when all parties don’t agree on the terms.
Moreira Team prides itself on error-free submissions. Sometimes, however, it’s a prudent decision to have a professional real estate attorney review all documents before signing off.
The first steps you should consider are to do a thorough examination with your agent and mortgage adviser, respectively. If you feel uncomfortable about the home purchase agreement document especially if you’re a first time home buyer, and the anxiety is clouding your logical thinking; it is important to consult a lawyer to give you peace of mind with your decision to sign off on the mortgage loan contract.
Consider these scenarios
When evaluating your home purchase agreement, ask: “Have there been recent renovations to the property that could present problems?”
For example, there is a brand new pool installed without perimeter fencing which is a clear violation of the local bylaws requiring the fence to be there to prevent accidental drownings.
Is there a custom shed in the backyard to accommodate an office space but there were no permits given, and the shed is too close to the power lines? This problem not only violates safety of the shed but the local electricity utility will not be able to access the power lines quickly.
Be mindful of anything on the property that could encroach on your neighbor’s land or even public property. Encroachments include sidewalks or easements, utilities and local by-laws that can add up to thousands in construction costs to install fencing or relocate a shed as just a few of the scenarios that can be easily overlooked in a home purchase or during a home inspection.
By reviewing the land survey you can avoid some of these issues that can crop up unexpectedly just with a little planning.
Most attorneys in the Atlanta area charge a flat fee for the loan application through to closing and others charge hourly rates from $100-$300 per hour. These fees can add up to a few thousand. Keep in mind, that you are in control of this relationship, so be specific about your needs and what your financial limits.
Request a Retainer Approach
The retainer agreement outlines the lawyer’s fees and statement of work. Ask your local real estate agent to suggest a law firm to handle your situation. Most Real Estate Lawyers follow a standard agreement that will cover the majority of your needs. Be specific if you need special clauses for specific needs.
Common gotchas that Homeowners may encounter can only be caught by experienced professionals like the Moreira Team, who are closely familiar with the documents involved in your home purchase and can find problems and mistakes and save you future expenses of correcting them. In some cases, it’s worth having a professional Real Estate Lawyer review your documentation before final sign off, though.
Don’t leave it to closing the deal to bring up issues that could derail the contract. Work with your Mortgage advisors and legal counsel to fix everything beforehand.
A Real Estate Lawyer will work directly with your mortgage adviser, real estate agent, and even the lender to make sure the important dates are scheduled. These include attorney approval, home inspection, mortgage signing and other conditions. It is critical because the regulatory bodies that manage the loan process have specific deadlines for each stage of the process. Missing any of them could add extra fees and delays that could prevent you from backing out of the deal should you find something seriously wrong with the home purchase.
Review of Closing Documents
The attorney will check for typos and misspellings of names or addresses including:
- Home Loan Agreement Documents
- Land Survey
- Title Insurance
It is critical to get the legal name of the residence correct to ensure that you can make any renovations or add-ons as necessary. Include any personal property which should part of closing the deal, such as appliances in the bill of sale. The bill of sale can also address unpaid prorated expenses due to you by the seller, such as property taxes, utilities or condo fees. Attorneys don’t typically counsel home buyers through this aspect of home purchase negotiations, but you can ask yours for assistance. Having the attorney present at closing to review the final documents, revisions and related terms you are finally signing off is also important.
Should You Have to Back Out of the Deal
Attorney’s can change the legal language in a home purchase contract and void a purchase contract under particular state laws. If a home inspection comes back with serious red flags such as mold, plumbing, or foundation issues.
Once you start to go through this process, and understand the steps and procedures, you will be glad that you have another seasoned pair of eyes in your corner with your best interests in mind.