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Trulia Chica…, Other/Just Looking in Chicago, IL

Do you need a lawyer to buy a home?

Asked by Trulia Chicago, Chicago, IL Mon Mar 25, 2013

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Chris Brown’s answer
Although I agree one should avoid the "egotistical" attorney, there is probably much more harm done by unscrupulous home inspectors and real estate agents/brokers. Most home inspectors are not well trained, and agents have a tremendous financial incentive to close the deal. If a deal goes south, it is not an easy process for the escrow companies to return initial earnest money. A strong attorney goes a long way in getting money back. All three parties SHOULD be working in your best interest, but many times only the attorney has no vested interest in the deal one way or the other. There are too many shenagans in todays foreclosure market to name them all. Watch out for attorneys over protecting your interests. Keep all your advisors in the loop and make the best decisions for yourself. Re home inspectors, even though our parents didn't use one, they can save or cost you thousands. Choose all your team wisely. Chris Brown
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
BEST ANSWER
There is no law that requires it - and you don't "need" one, however it's highly recommended to retain one.

Realisitically, your agent should be more than capable of walking you through, and explaining all the applicable paperwork at closing - however there are quite a few agents I've seen at closings who are not experienced enough to do this.

At the end of the day, purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments of your life. Hiring an attorney to make sure all your "t's are crossed, and i's are dotted" is a wise choice. It's a very nominal fee for the "check and balance" of an attorney, and they can be invaluable in the unfortunate event that the transaction turns into a big mess.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
In Illinois yes. We do not have "Escrow" like you hear about on those shows on Bravo or HGTV.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
There's too much to navigate on your own. Even though it's not required, the better question is why wouldn't you use an attorney, to protect yourself?!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
Hello,

As previously mentioned, you do not NEED an attorney but if you want to make sure you are purchasing a home with a free and clear title, as well as assist with inspection repairs, asking for credits, requests mortgage or closing date extensions, etc...then absolutely.

There are many details attorneys cover that the average consumer is not aware of let alone previed to what they should be looking for.

Be penny wise and dollar smart! Invest in an attorney, you can find one for a buyer side transaction for as little as $400!

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
Dear Trulia Chicago,

Not every state requires an attorney for a real estate transaction and Illinois is one of them. Depending on your state you maybe required under the law.

Buying or selling a home maybe the most expensive transaction that a buyer or seller will ever conduct; this fact alone is a good reason for a buyer and seller to secure the services of a real estate attorney. In a more traditional transaction the seller has a listing broker, the buyer has a buyer’s broker, and you have a mortgage broker, and Title Company or Escrow Company.

I strongly recommend the use of a real estate attorney, however, no matter who is assisting you in your closing make sure you read everything you are signing. If you do not understand something ask questions. Remember, once you have signed the document resending the transaction could prove to be nearly impossible.

Hiring a real estate attorney can save you hundreds of dollars and even thousands of dollars. Remember the saying “penny wise and pound foolish”; that is not a good place to be when it comes to real estate.

If the buyer or seller attempts to back out of the deal with short notice, having a real estate attorney on your side can save you. Also if during the inspection period and of your course you hired a property inspector if you are the buyer any defects found that you are unwilling to take on will be cause to break the contract. It is the job of the real estate attorney to protect the party’s best interest.

This is my opinion looking at both side of a real estate transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
Yes I would suggest one but be careful who you choose
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
You technically don't need to hire one. If you don't have a clear understanding of the buying/selling process and local/state laws then it is recommended. If you do hire an attorney avoid an egotistical attorney as they can be more of a hindrance then help.

Christopher Pagli
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
914.406.9023
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
You are not required to have a lawyer or a home inspector or a lender or a Realtor, but each one can make for a better home purchase scenario.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
Or worse, if they screw you.
Flag Sun Mar 31, 2013
It is customary in Chicago and highly recommended for both parties to retain an attorney.
Web Reference: http://www.chicagoRElaw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
You don't HAVEto have one in Chicago, but you should have one. They do a lot for you such as title, closing docs, taxes, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
Well, I have not yet done a real estate deal whether cash or loan, with any of my buyers without my buyers having used the representation of a real estate attorney, their fee

But you know the real estate attorney is like a life insurance for the home buying deal, kind of, you hope you never need it, but when you do you are glad you have it. Same here.... Advice, use a real estate attorney, to go with you through the contract, review it initially on your behalf just in case something is not clear, the Seller by the way will have a n attorney.... Just save a few hundred dollars somewhere else....Your attorney cannot change the price negotiated but with the seller's attorney on both sides approval they can extend dead lines, change the closing date for a reason, ask for extensions, and
you will have your attorney at your side if and when their are disputes or discussions of inspection issues
or loan commitments....

It's good advice to use one.
Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
And always with a SMILE 
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties -----EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com
Check out my website at htttp://www.tinyurl.com/YourRealtor4Life
get to know me better and learn about my experience, expertise, services available and letters of recommendation of former clients..... Also you can sign up on my site to search for properties in my expanded service area. HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
You have signed a legal contract that obligates you to purchase a property. Not sure why you would want to skimp out on ~$500-$600. Get an attorney
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
There is no law that requires it, but 99.9% of buyers do use one. You can let the title company do the minimal work required to complete the transaction, but they do not represent you in the transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
Actually you do not need a lawyer, even though it is highly recommended - a buyer could represent themselves if they wanted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
Its not required - but It is a good idea - a very good idea
Sam Sharp
Senior VP of Mortgage Lending
Guaranteed Rate
773 290 0455
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
you do need a lawyer after you have a signed contract
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
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