Do You Need An Attorney To Buy Your Home?
The Risks of Buying a House Without an Agent or Attorney
If you’re in the market for a home for your family — or perhaps your dream vacation home in a warmer state — you may wonder why real estate agents or real estate attorneys are almost always involved. The simple answer is that real estate law is complicated. These professionals can help ensure that the transaction is completed without legal stumbling blocks.
Your Largest Investment
For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest investment they will ever make, which means you don’t want to take chances with this transaction. We believe you will benefit from approaching any real estate transaction with caution, and that means having a real estate expert on your side.
Some people think that they can save on the commission paid to a licensed real estate agent. Also, real estate attorneys can seem expensive, especially if you’ve never needed a lawyer before. However, agents and attorneys can add value to the transaction and help protect the buyer and the seller.
Both real estate agents and real estate attorneys have completed significant amounts of training and education on real estate. In addition, REALTORs® are members of the National Association of REALTORS. As such, they must adhere to a code of conduct that protects buyers and sellers. Other knowledge they offer in your favor includes knowing the market, negotiating a fair price, arranging viewings and inspections, and other details.
Titles and Technicalities
One of the most important technical aspects of buying a house is the property title. How do you know that the seller is entitled to sell the property you are considering? Someone needs to ensure a clear title for the property. In Iowa, title insurance is not allowed. Instead, private attorneys review abstracts and give opinions on whether a person can legally sell a property. Because of this, Iowa has the cleanest titles in the country, and Iowa has established a program that provides the same benefits as title insurance. However, problems can still arise when you attempt to handle a real estate purchase on your own. The only way to be certain that a property has a clear title is for a lawyer to look at the abstract and ensure the seller has the right to sell the property.
There’s a saying: “A person who represents themselves has a fool for a client.” We believe that paying for expertise to legally complete a high-ticket purchase in a technical, risky field is worth it. If you are purchasing property outside of Iowa, that expertise is even more important to protecting your purchase.
In summary, when you are buying a home in Iowa, a real estate attorney or licensed real estate agent will help you avoid the pitfalls of the real estate transaction. Even in states with title insurance, you should still contact an attorney or real estate professional. They will be familiar with negotiation and state real estate code, as well. We wish you luck with your real estate purchase.