Almost all real estate transactions begin with the signing of a real estate contract, which is the most important document in the entire transaction. It’s for this reason that each party should go through the process of attorney review, in which a lawyer combs through the contract to make sure their party’s legal rights are protected.
While there’s a lot of confusion surrounding attorney review, it becomes second-nature once you’ve gotten a handle on the basics. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions about the process:
Is it worth the cost?
Your decision to purchase or sell a home is one of the largest financial decisions you’ll make in your life, and having an attorney review it is well worth the investment. Whether you live in a state that requires attorney review or not, it should be a no-brainer for any non-lawyers dealing with real estate.
What will the attorney look for?
If you’re buying a home, the documents that are used for closing will be some of the most important. An attorney review will scan for discrepancies in the documents, ensuring that everything from the purchase price, to the exact property address, to the spelling of the buyer’s name is correct.
Does the attorney guarantee a good transaction?
Having an attorney review isn’t a guarantee. Most attorneys won’t agree to be held liable if they miss something, the same as a home inspector and other professionals involved in getting you to the closing table. With that said, the attorney should be well-versed in what they expect to see in a real estate transaction.
Will the seller be upset if you get a lawyer?
The seller may not be appreciative of you going through attorney review, but that shouldn’t be a concern. It’s crucial that the transaction documents are accurate and that you’ll end up getting what you agreed to pay for.
With that said, attorney review is quite common, and most sellers expect to go through the process.
Does attorney review delay the closing?
In most cases, no; attorney review typically lasts three days, in which other tasks need to be accomplished anyway, from the inspection to the title analysis. The closing could be delayed if the attorney review turns up a problem, but in that case, you’ll be glad that you went through the process in the first place.