Using an attorney for your real estate transaction can be a personal choice. However, where we are in Montclair (Oakland) and for most of the Bay area, the majority of transactions are done using title companies and their very capable escrow officers. Of course, one should prepare to review a ton of disclosures for one's own protection, and to also prepare to negotiate on complying with local ordinances such as testing/replacing sewer lateral line which can be a high-ticket expense.
Whom you will need is a realtor to help you find a suitable home, guide you through writing a strong offer to compete in this seller's market, explain the various disclosures and compliance with local ordinances, and who will keep helping you if your offer is not selected this time, or the next.
Montclair is such a desirable part of Oakland that the demand is extremely high for properties which don't stay long on the market. And most listings receive multiple offers at over list price.
Let me know how I may help.
Good question. Every state handles real estate transactions a bit differently. In some states real estate lawyers are part of the process and handle legal disclosures and terms. I grew up in NJ and all real estate transactions in the tri state area utilize real estate lawyers in the transaction. The same in Illinois.
Here in CA, all of the legal disclosures are actually provided by the seller with the assistance of a Realtor. Title and escrow are also handled without a lawyer.
That being said you are always welcomed and actually encouraged to seek legal advice if you have any questions about the paperwork/transaction.
Hope that helps!
Alain Pinel Realtors
His repsonse has absolutely nothing to do with your question!
But, since that door was opened, allow me to walk through it.
In my opinion, there is no reason anyone should consider a stranger thousands of miles away when there are many reputable local mortgage reps who can sit down with you, face to face, in person, and walk you thought the process step by step.
Most larger companies offer in-house loan officers who can offer you a variety of services and loan options........not to mention, your agent can certainly suggest other names of tried and true loan officers to work with.
In the northern part of the state, unlike the southern part where they use the title company for their closings, we do use attorneys to handle our closings. They begin by handling the attorney review period once the contracts are signed by all parties. They also get involved in clarifying the home inspection issues...... right up to the actual closing.
The closing usually takes place at the buyer's attorney's office.
Now, with all of that being said, you will be asked to sign a form called "Opinion 26". This form states that as agents we cannot give you legal advice, and it recommends that you use an attorney for representation.
While is it recommended......it is not mandated, so the ultimate decision is yours.
Know that most likely, the sellers will have their own attorney..........you really should, too.
That is what is customary and usual here.
Hope this clarifies it for you.
Best wishes with your purchase and welcome to NJ!
In some areas of the country (as I understand it, the New York metro area, for instance), lawyers are almost always involved in the process. In other areas of the country, they very rarely are. If you feel more comfortable having a lawyer review the documents, by all means do so. And if there's anything particularly odd or unusual about the transaction, you definitely should.
Hope that helps.