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Do I really need a lawyer to buy this house?

All the advice columns warned you not to fall in love with a house, but to remember you are making a business deal and to think logically. However, when you saw it, you fell in love and knew you had to have it. Now that you have found the house of your dreams, the last thing you want is a delay in your settlement.

Other people giving you advice may have suggested you cut costs by eliminating a real estate agent, home inspection or attorney. Most professionals and experienced home buyers will probably warn you that omitting any of these is an unwise decision. However, the reasons for retaining the assistance of a lawyer may be most compelling.

What can a lawyer do for me?

Despite your emotional attachment to your impending purchase, it is good to keep in mind that this is an investment that could end up costing you dearly without the guidance of a knowledgeable advocate. In some cases, legal counsel may be crucial to the successful completion of the real estate deal, for example:

  • Negotiating a contract: An attorney can ensure that your contract adheres to Texas laws and can negotiate on your behalf for a better deal.
  • Clearing the title: Before you can purchase the home, the title must have no liens on it. An attorney can make sure any liens have been cleared before your settlement date.
  • Transferring property: Your attorney can handle any contract issues that arise if your sale involves complex parties such as corporations or trusts.
  • Filing paperwork: Having an attorney means timely submission of permits, deeds or other documents.

Many homebuyers find comfort in the guidance of an attorney when they review their home inspections and disclosure documents. Additionally, if issues arise at any time during the process, an attorney will be on hand to address and resolve them in the best way possible.

Knowledge, experience and protection

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting things you can do. A new home is a blank slate, waiting for you to give it your personality and unique style. However, a frustrating and complicated closing can taint that excitement and may even cause you to second guess your decision to purchase a home.

Having an attorney on your side throughout the home buying process can alleviate many of the anxieties and glitches that can stall a settlement or even come back to haunt you if you try to resell the house. Choosing to have an attorney on your side means having knowledge and experience that will support you until you have those keys in your hand.

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William T. Peckham
1104 Nueces Street, Suite 104
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-487-7604
Fax: 512-478-1790
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