Information for Homebuyers

Buying a Home: Your Rights, the Process and What to Expect

Buying a home is a complex legal process. It will also most likely be one of the largest financial transactions you take part in. Particularly if you are a first-time homebuyer, you may have a number of questions about what to expect during the process, what rights you have and what can be done to avoid delays or other problems.

In a residential real estate matter, your real estate agent may be a valuable source of information, but an attorney can provide an extra level of protection and counsel that can make all the difference. For example, a realtor may provide a standard brokerage agreement that does not cover all issues at hand. A homebuyer may then find that he or she is faced with a brokerage commission even if the sale does not go through. A real estate attorney can thoroughly review all aspects of a brokerage agreement and all other contracts, agreements and forms involved in the real estate transaction to make sure the homebuyer's interests are fully protected.

The Process of Purchasing a Home

Every individual may face a unique process in purchasing a home. The following is a very brief overview of the process:

  • Decide to purchase a home based upon your financial situation, needs and long-term goals.
  • Find the home you would like to purchase (this is often accomplished with the help of a realtor or real estate brokerage firm but may be completed on your own as well).
  • Make an offer for the home. The seller may make a counter-offer, at which point you or your broker may negotiate to reach an agreement.
  • Once an agreement is reached, you and the seller will sign a purchase agreement, which outlines the price, description of the property and identifies the seller and buyer. This may also include a down payment.
  • Inspect the property. Obtaining a professional inspection of the property is necessary to ensure that there are no defects or issues you should be concerned about.
  • Perform a title search. Your lawyer or a title insurance company should conduct a title search to make sure there are no issues with the title.
  • Obtain financing. It is important to find the right lender and the right type of loan for your particular financial needs and concerns.
  • Perform a final walk-through of the property before closing.
  • Attend the closing. At this point, you and the seller will sign legal documents that officially transfer the property to your name.

An Attorney Can Protect Your Rights as a Homebuyer

As a homebuyer, you have specific rights and responsibilities when it comes to purchasing a home. You have the right to have the property inspected and to address any issues found. You also have a responsibility to ensure the property is up to your standards before you complete the purchase. When you have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities, you can ensure that these are upheld to the fullest extent, thus avoiding problems with the transaction and costly delays.

A real estate lawyer can help you understand your responsibilities and can protect your rights through the entire process. This can help you avoid potential delays and problems with the purchase and can help ensure it is truly in your best interests. If you are interested in buying a home and would like to consider hiring an attorney, we welcome you to use this directory to compare legal professionals that offer real estate services in your area.

For help in purchasing a home, find a real estate lawyer near you.