Do I need an attorney to buy a house in Pennsylvania?

Do I need an attorney to buy a house in Pennsylvania?

Buying a house is one of the most significant transactions any of us will ever make. The process involves the law of real property, which raises unique issues that most people will not encounter in any other purchase.

Many states require real estate attorneys to handle all property transactions. Pennsylvania is not one of them, but there are many reasons why you might want to consult an experienced real estate law attorney.

Making sense of legal documents and complicated transactions

Buy/sell agreements can be complex legal documents, and even though realtors use standard forms for most transactions, they do not always cover every circumstance. Attorneys usually take over when a contract is signed to make sure the purchase goes smoothly. Once a home inspection and title search are completed, your attorney will negotiate repairs or any other adjustments that are needed. Other reasons to hire an attorney include:

  • Being an out-of-town buyer
  • Buying a bank-owned or short sale property
  • Buying a home that’s part of an estate sale
  • Buying a commercial property
  • Buying a home with potential structural issues

Protecting your major purchase

A real estate attorney also addresses many complications that can arise. It’s essential that buyers are aware of and deal with these issues before closing, including:

  • Have alterations made to the property been done correctly?
  • Whether the buyer’s plans to alter the property are legal
  • What happens if hazardous materials or pests are discovered?
  • What happens to my down payment if closing does not take place?
  • Are there zoning or easement issues?

Real estate attorneys can provide peace of mind

Brokers usually serve the seller while buyers typically obtain a mortgage company to purchase a home. Both the broker and lender want a sale to succeed so they can be paid, and neither provide legal counsel to either the seller or the buyer. An experienced real estate attorney here in Pennsylvania will represent your interests, giving you peace of mind while making one of the most expensive purchases of your lifetime.


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