Purchasing a property is an important step and often is accompanied by other changes in life i.e. job relocation, downsizing, divorce or separation. Real estate agents can be effective marketers of property on behalf of clients. That is there job and what they are paid to do.
However, real estate agents are not attorneys and are prohibited by law from giving legal advise.
There are stages that buyers typically go through to purchase a home and each stage is critical to the success of the overall process.
Being a real estate agent is not an easy job. The position requires the agent to wear many hats. There are many different interests and potential conflicts that can arise at each stage of the process. There is a closing company involved, appraisers, surveyors, loan originators, inspectors, radon and mold mitigators, engineers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, and pest control companies just to name a few.
You may choose to have a buyers agent represent you in the process of trying to find a property to purchase. You may end up with a single agent that is representing both you and the seller. You may be working directly with the seller without the aid of an agent in the purchasing a property that is owner financed.
When working without an agent it is even more critical to have the help of an attorney since standard realtor forms are not being used.
Finding a home to look at, reviewing the listing information and verifying the accuracy of the listing information (square feet, number of rooms, school district, taxes, home owners dues, boundaries of the lot) reviewing the sellers disclosure statement which discloses the condition of the property and known defects, conducting inspections to find undisclosed defects, working with a lender to borrow the money to purchase the property which includes appraisals and surveys. Finally appearing at a title company to review the HUD-1 statement, title work, and sign the necessary legal documents to close on the property and take ownership.
Every stage of this process is very important and exists for a reason.
Real estate agents typically get paid on commission. Beware that a real estate agent may suggest that you enter into a buyers agency agreement or offer to purchase prior to review of that document by an attorney. An attorney who practices in residential real estate should review all agency contracts before they are formally signed and entered into. The sellers disclosure statement is a very important document and is the source of most lawsuits in residential real estate. Inspection reports are critical to determining the soundness of a home. All of these documents in the transaction exist for a reason.