- The benefits of hiring a real estate attorney
- The challenges faced which an attorney can help a client through
From my perspective, you assume a greater risk by not having an attorney involved. I think the biggest service that an attorney can provide for you, whether you’re building a home or buying a home, is guidance about what you’re about to enter into in terms of contractually that, simply put, a realtor isn’t permitted to do. A realtor may suggest that you think about different things, but they really aren’t permitted because they’re not able to practice law. You may not get the information that you would need to really make that educated decision because they will guide you within the best of their abilities to do what their license allows them to do, but if the person they’re guiding doesn’t really understand the subject, they may not be able to pick up the signals that are being sent to them. I think it’s a benefit to have an attorney involved at least from the perspective of contractor view.
Ideally you’re talking to the attorney when you’re contemplating building a home, or doing contract review, or document review. Most of the builders in this area that are larger live on the concept of “Hey, we’ll build your home, and we’ll take care of all the documents for you, everything will be done for you, you just have to look at them and sign them.” They don’t like folks like myself involved because they don’t want the buyer to consider what issues or what things they may be either overlooking or not understanding. It’s not that I’m suggesting the builders were fraudulent or deceitful, they’re presenting it in such a way that “Hey sure, you can look at the documents and take your time,” but typically a home buyer may not be focused on what’s going to happen or what decisions they have to make. Where if you have a third party like an attorney involved helping and guiding you through those contracts and documents, it will help you understand a little more what you’re getting involved in.
The reality of it is in Pennsylvania, the buyer of real estate has the option of who they would like to do their closing and settlement and title work, and ideally, from my perspective, they should be able to not only have that option, they should exercise that option, and it’s no disrespect to the builders. Just from a pure common sense and logic perspective, it makes a whole lot more sense that the buyer exercise the right to employ who it is they believe will work on their behalf. And those are words most builders don’t necessarily enjoy hearing. Even realtors also often have their own title company. I’m again not a fan that if you’re using a realtor, I’m not a fan of using their title company simply because title work in settlements are really a commodity based transaction, and title insurance rates are pretty much set by the state. So, while you might go to charge less, you’re not going to necessarily get taken by somebody who’s going to charge you.
So, if you’re going to need to market your property to find a buyer, I’m all for it. They serve a great purpose. But the transaction itself, the closing, the title work, that does not need to go through a realtor. Again, I respect that they provide those services just like I provide closing services through my closing company, but I just think it’s giving the buyers short trip because they’re delimiting the number of people that could otherwise be working on their behalf. So, in summary, I’m not against the realtors, I think they serve the great purpose, but I don’t think they can serve every need that a real estate purchaser has.
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