Home Buying in Howard County>Question Details

Qb4006, Home Buyer in Columbia, MD

In Maryland, should one hire a real estate lawyer in addition to getting a buyers agent when purchasing a home?

Asked by Qb4006, Columbia, MD Mon Dec 26, 2011

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If you have the extra funds, it shouldn't hurt you, but having a solid Realtor will make hiring an attorney unnecessary for almost any transaction.

Of course, you will need to hire a title attorney to handle the title research and deed transfer once you have a contract with a seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
Hi QB- The answers below are all technically correct for sure. The fact that you are asking indicates that you have some concerns about the process. Generally, when a buyer asks me about an attorney, what they really mean is protection. I always recommend that you ask some friends or family members for advice and/or recommendations for an agent that they had a good experience with. If your agent does a good job of explaining the process and answering your questions, you will not feel the need for an attorney. Which is not to say that there is never a time when an attorney could get involved, but since 1998 it has not been necessary for any of my clients.

I included a link to our First Time Buyer Book, which spells out the most important parts of the process. Have a great day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
Hi QB,

An attorney is not required. I would recommend that you review a standard contract and gauge your level of comfort with the terminology. Also make sure you interview a real estate pro who is very familiar with local requirements and addendums for your area and home type.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
I would recommend what ever you are comfortable with but you usually don't need both..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
Every State is different with the process of buying a home. In Maryland settlements are completed by Title Companies and most of them have an Attorney within the company who is experienced in the legalities of real estate transactions. When you select a buyers agent to help you with the process of purchasing a home they usually have relationships with Title Companies so you rarely need to hire an attorney yourself.
Michael Grace is an attorney with Sage Title and has always taken the time to answer any questions a buyer may have throughout the purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
It's optional, but always a good idea. It's not absolutely expected, as in some areas (New York, New Jersey, etc.) It doesn't hurt to have the paperwork reviewed by an attorney. And particularly if the transaction becomes complex or in some way unusual then, yes, you definitely should have an attorney.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
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Nobody should tell you that you shouldn't hire a real estate attorney; however, that is not the typical path Buyers follow. Having your own real estate attorney addresses your particular comfort level and may be the best thing to help you sleep at night. That said, having a well experienced Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) usually addresses most Buyer concerns. ABRs specialize in the buying process and provide excellent representation.

Happy Holidays.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
In the process of buying a house, the realtor works closely with a lender, a title company lawyer, home inspectors, home warranty agents. With the right real estate professional, you can get all the help you should need to purchae your home. I would be glad to answer any of your specific questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 26, 2011
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