Owning a house is an exciting achievement; however, it can be a confusing process, especially if it's your first time. The law requires that you comply with several regulations, do due diligence, sign complicated agreements, and many other steps that need professional understanding.
Here are some of the reasons you need a competent attorney to complete a house purchase process.
1. Help With a Proper Purchase Agreement
A purchase agreement is the most critical document when buying a house. While you could take a standard agreement form and fill up your details with much ease, transaction details are not always standard. A lawyer will help you comb through the details and customize the agreement to fit your desires and those of the seller.
For instance, if the seller has altered the house from its original state, a lawyer will help you verify if they did it legally and capture that in the agreement. If you did an inspection and found hazardous material such as asbestos, you can quickly pull out if you had included such protective clauses in your agreement.
A competent lawyer will ensure your agreement protects you if you do not close the deal but had paid the down payment, mainly if it's the seller's fault.
While these may appear like minor details, some mistakes could get you in legal trouble. A purchase agreement also plays a prominent role when negotiating for a mortgage loan and your first home insurance.
2. Help With Possible Rebates and Government Benefits
A competent lawyer will help you explore your eligibility for government assistance or rebates, especially if you are a first-time homeowner. For instance, under the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program, you could be legible to claim a tax credit for a portion of your mortgage interest, which can help you qualify for a loan.
You, however, must meet certain income restrictions and have intentions of using your new home as your primary residence. A real estate attorney will help you evaluate your qualifications and take advantage of any local or federal state benefits for homeowners.
3. Help With the Closing Process
The closing process is the most important step when buying a house, but can also be the most confusing. You will sign a deed and other closing papers, as well as ensure that the title passes from the seller to you. You also need to verify that the closing statement indicating your credits and debits to the seller, and vice versa, are accurate.
Have a lawyer present to clarify the documents and details to you, and review and explain the amounts, fairness, and accuracy of the closing costs to you. Your attorney will also explain the mortgage instruments and deed to you, and ensure that the seller's attorney, real estate broker, a representative from the lending company, and a title closer execute their mandate accurately.
4. Help With Obtaining Title Insurance
You need to protect your title after the transfer process is complete. An experienced lawyer knows how best to draft a title insurance policy on your behalf and your lender.
Insure your title to protect it against fraud and possible omissions that could affect its legitimacy. For instance, someone can steal your identity and attempt to register a new mortgage on your house. You also could find yourself in trouble if the seller did not remit the property's taxes.
For a majority of the people, buying a house is the priciest investment they will ever make. Home ownership is also one of the most valued securities. You, therefore, must ensure you get the process and related paperwork right. Do your homework before settling on a real estate attorney to ensure you only work with an experienced, trustworthy and competent law firm.
Contact W. Mack Rice, P.A. Attorney at Law for an initial consultation, expert advice and professional services if you are in Goldsboro, Havelock, Jacksonville and the entire Eastern North Carolina region.