The law in Pennsylvania does not require you to hire an attorney when you are looking to buy a home. However, you need to remember that buying a home is likely to be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your life (until you decide to buy a bigger home down the road).
And buying a house is not as simple as shaking hands with the seller and handing them a check. The buying process has numerous steps, many of which come with mountains of paperwork. It is essential that you have someone in your corner who knows the law and is looking out for your best interests.
Your real estate attorney will be able to:
- Help you understand vague or unclear contractual terms: While there are many real estate brokers here in the Pittsburgh area who are real experts in their field, your real estate attorney will be able to define what any contracts say and how they will affect you. Your attorney can also have the contract revised to better protect your interests.
- Draw up a purchase agreement customized to your needs: It is important not to rely on standardized forms when negotiating the purchase agreement. A lawyer can address issues like asbestos abatement, changes to the property or what happens when the closing is not completed on time.
- Conduct the title search and protect your interests: Ensuring clean title on a purchase is a confusing, complex process. The attorney can explain any issues that arise, explain any easements and let you know if there will be future problems if you decide the sell the house.
- Accompany you to the closing: There can always be last-minute issues that pop up at the closing. Make sure you are protecting your rights just like every other party involved.
While not required, any time you are involved in a transaction that will have such a large effect on your future, you need someone who you know is solely looking out for your interests. That is what your real estate attorney will do.