Feb 18, 14 • News, Real Estate

If you’re facing a real estate transaction, the prospect of gathering, reviewing, filling out, and filing all of the attendant documents may seem overwhelming. Indeed, the volume of paperwork and seemingly complicated real estate jargon can be confounding. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips to help you navigate the not-so-tricky world of real estate documents.

  1. There is never a one-size-fits-all solution.
    Although they may seem appealingly easy, form contracts cannot account for every single scenario and, therefore, could potentially backfire and end up costing you more time and headaches than they’re worth. Furthermore, addendums, attachments, exhibits, or new documents from scratch may be preferred or required. Think about it: this transaction most likely involves your most valuable asset and/or the biggest purchase you will ever make. You don’t want to cut corners.
  2. Everything is negotiable.
    Nearly everything in a real estate transaction can be negotiated. Our team of real estate attorneys at The Farah Law Firm is often hired simply to negotiate specific terms, provisions, and contracts. It’s best to rely on an expert to help with your negotiations and to review anything and everything that requires your signature.
  3. Realtors are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice.
    You shouldn’t rely solely on a Realtor® to review your documents. Realtors® are incentivized by commissions and sales, so it stands to reason that they’ll often put their own priorities ahead of yours. If only they could all be as charming and selfless as Phil Dunphy. . .

    You should also bear in mind that Realtors® are not attorneys and they cannot give legal advice regarding your transaction. Conversely, a skilled real estate attorney will not “kill the deal,” especially if you can find one who is also a Realtor®, as are some of the lawyers at The Farah Law Firm.

  4. Do not lose sight of the potential for problems.
    No matter how smoothly your real estate transaction appears to be going, never forget that things could go awry at any moment. It’s easy to get excited about a property and fail to see the forest for the trees. You may be enticed by granite countertops, an impeccable garden, or an exquisite crystal chandelier, but you shouldn’t jump through hoops or bite off more than you can chew financially in order to buy a house that may be “flashy” but lacking in substance as a wise investment. A skilled real estate attorney like those at The Farah Law Firm can help you weigh the pros and cons and consider the worst-case scenario before you sign your name to anything.
  5. Caveat emptor: Know your weaknesses.
    Being aware of your ignorance can be your most powerful tool in any real estate transaction. Caveat emptor is Latin for “buyer beware,” an invaluable admonition. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and a real estate attorney can help you determine what will or will not be a prudent investment. Remember that title company attorneys do not work for you. Only an experienced real estate attorney like those at The Farah Law Firm can advocate on your behalf, be present at closing, and help the entire transaction go much more smoothly and ease your mind. Be sure to enlist the help of one of our highly skilled lawyers to help you review any and all documents pertaining to a real estate purchase. Contact our real estate attorneys today.
Michael Farah

About Michael Farah

Michael Farah is the founder and managing attorney of the Farah Law Firm. Mike graduated from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York.

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