The need for an experienced lawyer to represent a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction has never been more critical than in today’s troubled economic times. There are a number of distressed or foreclosed properties on the market which may present the potential purchaser with an incredible bargain but may very well contain hidden pit falls. Many of the exotic mortgage packages that gave rise to the current economic crisis have hidden clauses that make it extremely difficult to refinance or sell the property. Many adjustable rate mortgages are either resetting now or will reset within the next year and with mortgage rates remaining low, there is a brisk market in refinancing.
Given these realities, the need for an experienced lawyer to advise the purchaser or seller in a real estate transaction is all the more critical. Your attorney can advise you as to the precise terms of the mortgage and whether there are any clauses in the mortgage that could present future problems for the homeowner. Similarly, counsel can review title documents to ensure that a foreclosure was performed correctly so the former owner will not have a claim to the property in the future. Likewise, counsel can advise the purchaser as to the pros and cons of various insurance products that are available, such as title insurance, and what claims the title insurance policy will or will not respond to.
Counsel should even be involved in the initial negotiation process especially in reviewing and editing of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Many Purchase and Sale Agreements have strict deadlines which must be adhered to and failure to adhere to these deadlines could result in significant financial loss to the parties. It would be sad to take a financial hit because of missing deadlines of which you were not aware. In short, while the urge may be present to save money at closing, the long terms risks associated with such a strategy greatly outweigh the upfront costs.
Andrew J. Piela is a Director at Hamblett & Kerrigan, P.A. Mr. Piela concentrates his practice in civil litigation, family law, probate and land use litigation. You can reach Attorney Piela by e-mail at [email protected]