Profile picture for lhui5484

When Should I Get A Lawyer?

I was curious to know when I should get a lawyer when I buy a home. Should a lawyer come in before an offer is made, after an offer is made and the offer is accepted, etc?
  • March 13 2014 - Malden
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (14)

I completely disagree with "themorrigan" on two points.

Both of them are - to disregard the advice of your agent. Basically, if you don't trust the advice of your agent, don't let them be your agent!

The idea that you will get better, unbiased response from a stranger is compelling, but the reality is that inspectors are insurance for the agents - we don't want an inspector to gloss over stuff, we want them to find stuff. What we don't want from inspectors is for them to trash a perfectly fine place just so that you will hire them for the next inspection (two-fer).

When we make a referral to a trusted service provider, that provider sees us as their Best Customer, because every time, their reputation is on the line with us. Most of us recommend the inspectors we'd hire when we're buying property, the lender we'd get our mortgage from, the attorney we'd take advise from.

But, hey; that's just me.
  • May 01 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for hpvanc
I would make arrangements with an attorney before starting your house search. If you aren't familiar with contract you may run into situations where you are asked/pressured to sign a contract with an agent that can be as detrimental to you as a bad purchase contract.
  • May 01 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for themorrigan20
If you can read the contract and comprehend it, you probably don't need an attorney until closing.

IMO it's a very unwise move to hire one any realtor recommends - if you want legal advice.  A closing attorney pretty much hands you one paper after another to sign, and his or her staff does the paperwork and makes sure it all comes together, so that's not as big a deal. 

But there is only one person who's truly looking out for your best interests and not their commission: YOU.  Choose your own attorney and your own home inspector, not one that some agent steers you toward.  And those "free" buyer's agents can cost you plenty if they pressure you to make a bad deal, intentionally or ignorantly.  Look around you: some of them can't, or can't be bothered, using basic grammar and punctuation correctly on a chat board that potential clients read!  Don't use a realtor just because a realtor tells you to use a realtor.
  • May 01 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for brett homes
It really depends on what state you are purchasing property in and the reason for getting the lawyer. Some states have attorney review periods and others do not. If your state does not have a review period, then it may be too late if you seek an attorney after both parties sign the offer/agreement of sale. The damage may already be done. Hope that helped. 
  • May 01 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Are you working with a Real Estate Agent they should be advising you on when to obtain a lawyer and hopefully point you in the direction of some one they trust
  • May 01 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Attorneys add a much needed resource to the home buying process. They protect your future asset and your current interest. However, you really don't need an attorney until the offer is accepted and you're approaching the Purchase and Sale. Not that it's bad to have one prior but it's not need for the offer.

I would however suggest obtaining an attorney prior to the offer just to have one in place and giving yourself enough time to find one you like and trust!
  • April 17 2014
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for RafaelAPRG
I think you should speak to an attorney in advance and introduce yourself and let them know what you are doing and he should advice you on the steps you should be taking. It is very important that you have a good buyers agent by your side as well as a good attorney and mortgage person. A good team will make the process much smoother.
  • March 14 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

No Realtor can really advise you NOT to obtain an attorney if you so choose. Typically unless its a very involved transaction most buyers have an agent they rely on for this and either the bank attorney will review the P & S as courtesy or the Realtor your working with will have an attorney who will do it as courtesy.

All the contracts from the offer to P & S are likely the same boiler plate contracts drafted by the board of Realtors and your agent will have a very good handle on most transactions... also a good Realtor knows the times when their client really requires an attorney to get involved. When one side obtains an aggressive attorney who throws out the typical boiler plate agreements we use and uses his own that ad in such things as "survives delivery of the deed" it generally forces the other side at that point to obtain an attorney as well and then its a big win for the attorneys! LOL

I suggest you follow your Realtors lead and by all means if you wish to pay for and obtain your own attorney through the process that is certainly your choice.

Best Wishes! 
  • March 14 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Hello and congratulations on finding a house!  I would suggest getting a real estate attorney as soon a possible but as to your second questions below my advice is to  get a buyers agent.  As a buyer you will not be responsible for paying them (The seller pays for the agents commission) Buyers agents work to protect your best interests through the sale and will help with all the issues throughout the sale and with negotiations through inspections and appraisal issues.  This will not only save you a lot of money but also a lot of stress.  Happy house hunting!
  • March 13 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

It will be your best interest to Retain a attorney as soon a possible ...the other agent will know your very motivated ! And will take your offer very seriously ! MichaelArrick.com
  • March 13 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for DebVance
Normally you don't need a lawyer until you have an accepted offer because once purchase and sale are done you'll need an attorney to go over those.
  • March 13 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for lhui5484
@John
What is the benefit between getting a lawyer at those two stages? I assume getting one during the offer stage is more costly right?

@Wen
The house was listed by a seller's agent. I am still debating whether to use a buyer's agent or not based on the service they would provide for the commission they get.
  • March 13 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Great question.  Most people get a lawyer after the offer is accepted; however, a few of my clients wanted to get them involved in the offer stage.  

John Kenney
Century 21 Commonwealth
  • March 13 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

It really depends on how you are buying it.. some buyers dont even use one....are you buying directly from a fsbo? If you are using a realtor to represent you he should guide you.  Feel free to contact us directly
  • March 13 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.