Do I really need a lawyer to buy a house?

There are many benefits to having an attorney by your side throughout the process of purchasing a home. While in most states it is perfectly legal to purchase a home without the assistance of a lawyer -- and some people would rather save the money -- those who have an attorney to guide them through the homebuying process are often grateful for the professional assistance, especially if the transaction becomes more complicated than they expected.

You may be purchasing a home you want to grow old in, or your intention is to sell in a few years and downsize (or upsize). In either case, you certainly want your transaction to go smoothly and to avoid any issues at settlement or even years down the road.

How can a lawyer help?

Even if this is not your first real estate purchase, it is possible there are factors of the homebuying process that are unfamiliar to you. Perhaps one of the most comforting aspects of obtaining legal assistance is that someone will be available to answer your questions and reassure you of the progress of your purchase. In addition, your attorney can do the following:

  • Make you aware of any real estate laws or rules peculiar to Massachusetts
  • Represent you in negotiations with the seller
  • Review and revise your contract for legal soundness
  • File your deed and deal with any governmental red tape

Clearing the title of your future home is an important part of the process. Many real estate attorneys have frequent dealings with title search companies, so they may be able to do a faster, more thorough title search to make sure there are no liens or claims on the property you want to buy. If glitches in the title do arise, an attorney will be available to negotiate with the seller to clear the defect quickly.

Home sweet home

While there are certainly emotional aspects to purchasing a home, the fact is that the process is a complex business transaction involving legal factors that require knowledge of state and local ordinances and attention to detail. Many people purchase homes without an attorney representing their interests, but those who have the help of a lawyer often report that they felt more confident about their investment and met with fewer complications along the way.

An attorney's experience will oversee every aspect of the sale — from reviewing the inspection to clearing the title and transferring the deed — to ensure your settlement is as easy as possible so that you can begin to make your house a home.

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