If you are buying property, you may be tempted to handle the deal yourself, especially if you've bought real estate before with no problems. However a good real estate lawyer can be worth their weight in gold when it comes to protecting your assets during negotiations, in closing, and after the sale. How do you know what makes a good attorney? Here are four things they'll never do.

Leave the Property Title Open to Future Legal Problems

When purchasing property, you need to make sure you're getting the title to the property you're looking at, not something else. You also need to make certain that title has nothing that will cause you headaches down the road. If there are liens on the property, such as for unpaid taxes, you could be responsible for them when you own the property, or they could prevent closing from taking place.

A good real estate lawyer will conduct a proper title search for you. When you sit down to finish the deal, you'll know the property is yours free and clear.

Allow Loose Threads in the Transaction

In addition to title issues, there could be other problems with your transaction. The best attorneys anticipate problem areas for you in advance of closing, so you can deal with them proactively. They will advise you of any potential legal problems with the deal, and some will also make recommendations for tax questions that arise.

Let You Handle Your Own Documents

Another way property buyers try to save on costs is by handling transaction documents on their own and just having an attorney for other parts of the deal. This is a big mistake as real estate deals generate a ton of paperwork.

Law firms are used to dealing with high volumes of documentation, and they can prepare and file papers much faster than you can. They will make sure nothing is missing that could vitiate (make null and void) the deal, and make sure all the right forms are signed, notarized and copied as needed.

Allow You to Represent Yourself in Court or in Negotiations

"He who represents himself has a fool for a client," said Abraham Lincoln. This is probably even truer today than when the President originally said it as the law has only become more complex.

Having an attorney represent you can have many benefits when it comes to negotiating. They have the credentials behind them and the knowledge of legal precedent to argue when need be, as well as an understanding of court proceedings.

Lawyers are also trained to remain calm under pressure, whether at the bargaining table or in the courtroom. They can retain their composure in situations where you might lose your cool and cause the deal to go sour. They are a voice of objectivity in what can become an emotional process.

It's their job to be available for discussion even when you aren't. If you're putting together a complex transaction, you won't have to take time away from work or field late night calls when you pay an attorney.

Your real estate property is probably your greatest asset, so don't gamble on acquiring it on your own. Even if your state doesn't require using a residential real estate lawyer for your transaction, you'll be better off finding a good one and saving yourself headaches and even financial losses in the future.

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