If you’re facing a real estate issue, it’s tempting to go it alone. When dealing with agreements and contracts, even something simple can quickly become complex, potentially leading to costly, long-lasting difficulties.
Below are the top reasons to hire a real estate lawyer in Washington State.
Contract Review For Real Estate
If you’re buying property – whether in the heart of Seattle or the far reaches of eastern Washington state – it can be helpful to have a real estate lawyer review the contract. Letting someone with the expertise and experience give you information about the terms of a real estate contract, and what’s customary in Washington and/or the county where the property is located, can be extremely helpful.
Contract Drafting For Real Estate
If you need to draft a real estate agreement, you certainly could write it on your own, but poorly written contracts are usually open to a wide variety of interpretations.Many interpretations open the door to many problems. It’s worth the time and money to have a real estate lawyer draft a well-written contract that can be enforced and/or stand up in court.
Title Insurance Exceptions For Real Estate
Most buyers believe that title insurance will disclose everything and provide plenty of protection, but it doesn’t. There are exceptions to title insurance, many of which could potentially pose a risk to you, as the buyer. These title insurance exceptions can impact not only your ability to use and enjoy the property you’re buying, but also your ability to sell the property in the future. A real estate lawyer can uncover tax liens, deed restrictions, easements, CC&Rs, shared road agreements, and other public-record documents that aren’t covered by title insurance. The more you know, the better chance you have of making a good decision.
Legal Due Diligence For Real Estate
Every time you buy a piece of property, you take a risk. No one can predict what the future will hold, but it is possible to at least understand present circumstances. A real estate lawyer can perform legal due diligence on property you’re interested in purchasing, so you fully understand the permissible uses for the property, as well as any restrictions. Only by knowing that will you know the true value of what you’re buying. And this legal due diligence isn’t easy for a layperson to do alone. Parsing out zoning laws, building permit regulations, conservation restrictions, chain of title ownership, water usage rights, boundary line disputes, and other types of issues is second-nature to an experienced real estate lawyer… and beyond the practical reach of most buyers.
For Sale By Owners (FSBOs)
Many sellers in Washington want to market a property on their own, and for good reason. By choosing to go the route of “for sale by owner,” you can potentially save thousands of dollars in real estate commissions. But spending some of those savings to hire a real estate lawyer can be a wise investment. When you close on your property, you want to be done. If, for some reason, your FSBO transaction isn’t handled properly, you could wind up with open-ended legal liability costing you far more than you saved on real estate commissions.
Homeowner associations and community associations are legal entities that typically have covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). If you’re buying a property in Washington, it can be helpful to have a real estate lawyer review the HOA documents. If you’re living in a community where CC&Rs are arbitrarily enforced, or even ignored, a real estate lawyer can help protect your rights.
Easements And Agreements For Real Estate
Easements and agreements are more common than you might imagine in Washington, even in urban areas. Virtually every property in Washington state has an easement for utilities. There are also dozens of other types of easements and agreements that can impact the value of a property, your ability to use and enjoy the property, and your prospects for selling it in the future. If you need a real estate easement or agreement drafted, reviewed, enforced, or removed, a real estate lawyer can provide those services.
For more information about real estate agreements and easements or to schedule a free consultation, please call (509) 606-4700 or e-mail ContactUs@TimelyContractWashington.com.