If you are looking to purchase or sell real estate at any point in the near future, you will need to negotiate a real estate contract for the transaction. Unfortunately, a shocking number of people will try to negotiate these transactions without legal assistance, potentially putting themselves in legal and financial jeopardy. Here are five reasons you should have a lawyer help you negotiate your real estate contract:
- Potential issues related to financing/pre-financing
- It is very common for real estate sellers to require prospective buyers to obtain pre-approval for financing before the sale can go forward. This helps to ensure that a buyer is honest about their finances, and guarantees to some extent that the sale will go forward. If you do not know how to lay out the terms for financing in your real estate contract, though, you may wind up paying for it, literally and figuratively.
- Deciding who keeps fixtures and appliances
- A simple but surprisingly common mistake in real estate transactions is failing to determine what happens to the appliances and fixtures in a building. This can cause a significant amount of consternation if, for example, a buyer only agrees to a purchase price because they assumed they would also keep all the furniture. Addressing this in a real estate contract is, thus, potentially critical, and something else a lawyer can assist you with negotiating.
- Responsibility for building inspections
- Building inspections are a crucial part of assessing a property’s value, as they can identify potential structural damage, code violations, and other issues that can impact the sale of the property. While requiring these inspections as part of a real estate contract is fairly normal, there can be disputes over who is responsible for paying for these inspections, and what happens if defects are found during an inspection. A well-negotiated real estate contract can settle all these issues, preventing future problems if the inspections turn up anything bad.
- Negotiating responsibility for closing costs
- There are a number of costs that go into closing a real estate sale, many of which are only paid on the day of closing. While many of these expenses are straightforward, deciding who is responsible for paying them is not always so simple. Negotiating who is responsible for closing costs, and ensuring all of the paperwork is executed properly, are good reasons to have a lawyer on hand.
- You need to include any necessary contingencies
- Sadly, this list only scratches the surface of all of the things that can potentially go wrong during a real estate transaction. Planning for these problems, and negotiating contingencies to work around them, are essential parts of why you should have a lawyer present when negotiating your real estate contract. That is why, if you are looking to buy or sell real estate, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
At David J. Lorber & Associates, PLLC, we assist clients throughout New York who are looking to buy or sell real estate. We will guide you through the process and help you minimize your legal and financial risks. Call us at (631) 750-0900 or contact us online to schedule your Free consultation at our Setauket office.