MWatch: Lawyer up?
We are often asked, “Do I need an attorney?” Well, it depends on whether you are buying or selling. If you’re buying, the bank will require that you use an attorney to close the sale as well as to prepare the bank’s mortgage paperwork. That attorney will also look at your Purchase and Sale Agreement for a couple of hundred dollars.
Remember that they are looking at the document with the bank’s interests at heart, not yours. Your interests and the bank’s interests are almost identical, but not quite. You just need to know that.
By the way, the bank will try and make you use the attorney that they pick. You almost never have to do that. You can use the attorney that you want. And when choosing an attorney to work for you, whether buying or selling, hire a real estate attorney. Attorneys are like other professionals: they specialize. You don’t want someone that does wills and trusts working on your real estate work.
If you’re selling, a lot of times folks think, “Well, I’m getting rid of liability, what do I need an attorney for?” Well, the buyer’s attorney is going to attach what is called a Buyer Addendum to the Purchase and Sale Agreement. And that really needs to be reviewed by someone working in your best interests.
Why? There are several items in the Addendum that could survive “delivery of the deed”. That means that even after the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed and the transaction has closed, there are things that you agreed to that will continue after the sale has closed.
So, the short answer to “Do I need an attorney?” Yes. Absolutely.
We work on the North Shore of Boston, if you ever want to find us, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-758-0983.