Understanding Attorney Review and Its Place in Your Real Estate Transaction

Understanding Attorney Review and Its Place in Your Real Estate Transaction

Many who purchase real estate often ask why they would need to involve an attorney. They say things like “well were not going to court over this” or “I’m not suing anyone” or most commonly “Is the attorney really something I need to spend money on, I already have a realtor”.

The answer to those questions, is yes, an attorney is vital to your real estate purchase and to bring immense value to the transaction. The lions share of that value comes in the form of Attorney Review. Attorney Review is a period of 5 business days following the date you and the other party sign your real estate purchase or sale contract. This period is one where attorneys from both the seller and buyer side review the contract between the parties and identify any issues. A realtor cannot perform this service for you, it must be an attorney.

Common issues that can occur during attorney review are when a defect in title is discovered, an encumbrance is brought to light, or the financing for the property has fallen through. The benefit of attorney review is that it allows for the attorney for either transacting party to cancel the contract. While listing price and closing date are not usually valid reasons for cancelling the contract, there is a very broad range of reasons that an attorney may state as justification to cancel the contract on behalf of their clients. Examples include clients being unable to obtain proper financing, the property having an easement on it, or if there is another area of the contract such as removal of certain property or a requested repair that the parties cannot come to agreement on,

It is very important to get your real estate contract over to your attorney as soon as absolutely possible. While there is always the ability to request extensions to the 5-day period, they have to be agreed to. Requesting an extension is often very easy for a seller’s attorney to do, especially if they have a motivated buyer, however it can be a different case for a buyer’s attorney. When a buyer does not meet the attorney review deadline they are forfeiting almost all of their bargaining power on the purchase of their new home and can often be locked into the purchase of the home even if issues are discovered in the contract. While we expect most attorneys and sellers of real estate to act in good faith and be reasonable in their negotiation tactics, that isn’t always the case, which is why having an attorney that is familiar with contract provisions and local laws is invaluable.

Giving yourself that extra added security is something that people may wonder if it is truly necessary. However, a real estate purchase is often one of the biggest purchases a person will make in their life. When you are about to sign a contract to spend often over $100,000.00 on a property, you want to be sure that what you are signing is legitimate, fair, and that you are in agreement with it. Attorney Review is your tool to ensuring that you are receiving a fair deal on your very important purchase and Attorney Review is your method of exit if you discover that you are not receiving a fair deal. It is ALWAYS worth the price.

The Law Office of Andrew Szocka P.C. is experienced with all manner of Real Estate Contracts and would be happy to assist you during your Attorney Review period. If you have a real estate contract you would like reviewed by our office, or assistance with any part of your transaction please contact us by email at szocka@sockza.com or by calling 815-455-8430.

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