Buying A Home Directly From An Owner? Why Use A Lawyer For Assistance

Posted on: 16 December 2019

Have you been house hunting for a while and finally found a house that you love? Make note if the sale is being performed by a real estate agent or the owner. If it's being sold directly by the owner, you may find that you need more assistance getting through this sale. You'll want to have a lawyer help out with the sale in the following ways. 

Writing The Offer

All home purchases start with making an offer that the seller needs to accept or reject. However, making an offer is a lot more than throwing out a dollar amount. You'll need real estate legal services to draft a letter in a way that you have protection in the form of ways to back out of the sale. 

For example, you will want the option to have the home inspected, and if you do not like the report that comes back due to what was discovered, you need a way to back out of the sale and get your earnest money back. You may also want a similar contingency for the appraisal so that you can halt the sale if the home is dramatically undervalued compared to what you offered for it. 

Without a lawyer drafting this offer letter, you could be stuck purchasing a home that you don't love or risk the earnest money to put towards the home when the offer was accepted.

Searching The Title History

You also need a lawyer to help research the title history. This part of the process ensures that nobody else has a legal right to the home that you are about to purchase. The most common problem that comes up is that there is a lien against the home due to a court judgment, so someone else has the right to the home's value to pay for the debt that is owed. There may also be a situation where the seller is discovered to not be the legal seller. They may be selling for a relative but do not have power of attorney to actually make the sale go through.

Reviewing Closing Documents

There will be a lot of legal documents that will be drafted, and they all need to be reviewed before you sign them at your closing. Having a lawyer on your side will help ensure everything you are signing is accurate. They will read the documents for you and flag anything that is not correct.