Buying the Family Home is one of the most expensive
purchases the average family makes. Protect both yourself and your home - get an attorney involved!
When purchasing a new home -- as in the case of most home purchases in the Metropolitan area, the agent is usually hired by (and is working for) ... the seller. On the other hand, if you enter into a Buyer's contract with the same firm which has the property listed for sale, just who is the agent really representing. At the closing - who is representing you and your interests? If that agent is also arranging for the title company, the mortgage, the home inspection services and is under contract by the sellers - there's a good chance no one at the closing table is really providing client representation to you. You need to know ... are you paying too much, are you picking up too much of the closing expense, are there issues that you should ask about now to protect yourself later? How would you know? Who would you ask?
Sure, essentially you're probably going to pay the bill - but you may be only the real estate company's customer - not their client, or both parties may be the client. The question still remains, just who is representing whom? In any case, an attorney hired by you will certainly be looking after your best interests!
Buyers moving in from the east or west coast may be more familiar with the involvement of an attorney in reviewing purchase and sales contracts, escrow and other aspects of the real estate transaction. In Nebraska, however, many times it can remain fairly unclear to the buyers and sellers just who is really representing whom in the transaction. Above all, do not be discouraged by the realtor from asking an attorney for advice. The purchase of a home may be the most important commitment of your lifetime! If the realtor is concerned for the 'deal' because an attorney might be involved - then YOU should be concerned as well ... about the lack of suitable representation! You can be assured that when a realtor buys or sells property - they will have an attorney protecting their interests!
As attorneys, we believe it is still important to ensure that a buyer has the help and representation of at least one party - that of his or her own attorney. When it comes to purchasing real estate - there are many things you need to know and these should be fully explored before closing on the sale. A good legal review of the transaction may be far less expensive than a protracted litigation after the sale is final.
If you've elected to sell your home - either by yourself or through a real estate firm, you may want to seriously consider employing an attorney to assist you with the sale (especially if you're selling the property yourself - after all, when an interested buyer approaches you with an offer - will you be ready with a purchase contract and other necessary forms and documents.) If you have questions regarding an attorney's role in buying or selling real property, you should contact your local state bar association or your family attorney. If in Nebraska, you certainly can contact us for both advice and assistance.
Patricia Geringer has over 25 years of real estate experience as an agent, a broker and an attorney. To arrange for an appointment, call us at 402-734-0635, email us at or complete this confidential appointment FORM.
When employing an attorney regarding issues of real estate, ensure that counsel has adequate experience in this important area. Various state jurisdictions have different laws and regulations regarding how the particular cases are handled and your attorney should be experienced and knowledgeable of them all!.