Many home buyers rely on the experience and knowledge of their real estate agents when making this expensive purchase. However, a real estate attorney can help ensure that the transaction is smooth and protect your interests if issues arise.

These are some of the benefits of hiring a lawyer to assist with your home purchase:

Contract negotiation

Whether you negotiate with the home seller personally or your agent negotiates on your behalf, no agreements hold legal weight until you have a signed purchase agreement. When you have an attorney prepare this legal document, he or she will ensure that the contract protects your interests, covers possible issues that may arise with the property and meets applicable state laws. He or she will review the contract and make sure that contingencies and changes appear correctly.

Title search

Once you have a signed purchase contract for the home of your choice, you must confirm that the home has a clear title. When you have an attorney on your team, he or she can review and explain the title search report. For example, if the property is subject to use restrictions or easements, he or she can determine how these terms may impact your use of the home and land.

Assistance during closing

At closing, you will receive the title for the home in exchange for its purchase price, typically through a combination of your down payment and a mortgage loan. Your attorney will review the closing statement and ensure that the fees included are correct, appropriate and fair. He or she can also help resolve disputes about cost adjustments for items such as taxes and fuel as well as delivery and occupation of the home.

Conflict resolution

An attorney is the most appropriate party to resolve conflicts between the buyer and the seller. Because each real estate broker has a financial interest in a successful deal, he or she may not have your most favorable interests in mind when a conflict occurs. When you hire an attorney, you are paying a knowledgeable, qualified person to advocate for your rights.