Why Hire a Real Estate Attorney?
Buying real estate can be exciting and a little frightening, especially if you are inexperienced. Some real estate transactions are complex and require the services of a real estate attorney that is knowledgeable in laws specific to a particular municipality or state. Real estate attorneys review transactions like leases and Purchase and Sale Agreements. An experienced real estate attorney can also help resolve environmental issues, title issues, and insurance problems. They can also help if litigation is required to resolve a dispute, and they can assist banks and private lenders in the foreclosure process as well as defend homeowners from foreclosure by such banks or private lenders.
In Massachusetts, attorneys are required to preside over real estate closings. These lawyers must also be involved in the transaction before and after the closing. Further, anyone buying a home is encouraged to use or find their own attorney, rather than using the same attorney as the bank or financial institution. This is to protect the legal interests of the Buyer and to prevent any conflict of interest that could occur. This applies to both new purchases and refinance closings of existing mortgages. In addition, attorneys in Massachusetts are expected to draft deeds and effectuate the ￼transaction.
Sellers are likewise required by Massachusetts law to disclose defects in the property. These defects may include such issues as water quality; septic or cesspool systems; termites; mold; and water leaks; all of which should be disclosed by the Seller or the real estate agent on behalf of the Seller, if any. If they aren’t and the Buyer finds out there were previous problems or that the Seller knew about them, then the Buyer may have legal remedies available to him or her. Sellers and agents do not, however, have to disclose if a property is “psychologically impacted.” For example, if a murder or suicide occurred on the property, you do not have to offer that information. However, if someone asks directly, you may not be deceitful or misleading in responding.
It is important that you engage an experienced real estate attorney who is active with your purchase, sale or lease of residential or commercial property before and after the closing. While your real estate broker or agent will guide you through the process of your purchase or sale, an experienced Massachusetts real estate law attorney can answer your legal questions and help you with other real estate-related issues, such as estate planning, in the future. At the Law Offices of Barry R. Crimmins, P.C., we can help you with any of your real estate transactions. You can contact us at (781)344-2886.