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5 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Lawyer When Buying a House in Columbia, SC

Date: June 20, 2022
Category: Real Estate
5 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Lawyer When Buying a House in Columbia, SC 1

Buying a home is the biggest financial decision most people make in life. And, with so much at stake, the whole process can seem rather daunting.

In addition to the sheer dollar amount, real estate transactions are also quite complex. For that reason, it’s inadvisable to try to “go it alone.” Instead, you should hire professionals to guide you through your real estate purchase.

When buying a house, working with a real estate broker/agent is standard. However, in most situations, it’s in your best interest to not only hire a real estate agent, but also a full-fledged real estate attorney.

In fact, many states (including South Carolina) legally mandate the use of a lawyer at real estate closings. So, in this article, we’ll be discussing why hiring a Columbia real estate attorney is not only legally necessary — but how it will also ensure your home purchase is executed both diligently and favorably.

Real Estate Lawyers in Columbia, SC: A Legal Requirement

As mentioned above, South Carolina is one of 22 states in the US that legally require an attorney to supervise real estate closings. Furthermore, South Carolina is one of only a select few states where the attorney must be physically present at the closing.

This law is for your own protection. Residential real estate transactions are inherently complicated — which means that the average person will not be aware of and/or understand all the details without professional assistance.

That being said, the role of a real estate lawyer goes beyond simply explaining the nuances of the contract before you close the deal. Rather, a good Columbia real estate attorney will meticulously search for any potential problems and make sure you secure the best terms for your home purchase. And, on that note…

Advantages of Using a Columbia Real Estate Attorney

With the above in mind, let’s examine 5 key benefits of using a real estate lawyer when buying a home in Columbia, SC:

1) They’ll Negotiate on Your Behalf

In a perfect world, home buyers and sellers would always reach a harmonious and mutually beneficial agreement. Unfortunately, that’s far from the case. In reality, each party is competing to secure the most favorable terms for themselves. Furthermore, disputes often arise between the two parties regarding the details of the sale.

A real estate attorney will negotiate and act as your advocate to help you obtain the best terms possible. They’ll also ensure there are no hidden risks or clauses that could negatively impact you in an unforeseen way.

2) They’ll Provide Legal Counsel

Often, home buyers are primarily concerned with the physical aspects of the property and the numerical aspects of the financing.  But remember: a real estate transaction is also a legal matter, and should be regarded as such. The decisions and actions you take on a South Carolina home now can have a significant impact on your long-term financial and legal situation.

Consulting a real estate attorney will clarify both the buyer’s and seller’s legal rights and obligations throughout the transaction. Your attorney can also serve as a trusted advisor to make recommendations and answer any questions you may have.

3) They’ll Draft and Review the Contract

The purchase agreement is a central component of any real estate transaction: it spells out all the terms and contingencies of the deal. So, you’ll want an experienced professional to go through it with a “fine-tooth comb.” 

Real estate lawyers not only review purchase contracts — they also draft individualized agreements so that the document is tailored to the unique situation in which it is being used (rather than a generic template).

4) They’ll Perform a Title Search

Before proceeding with a real estate purchase, you need to verify the status of the title and uncover any liens, encumbrances, or other defects. If there are any issues with the title, you may need to walk away from the deal altogether — which is why title searches are so important. 

A real estate lawyer will carry out a rigorous title search and notify you if there are any issues that could adversely affect the sale. With the support of a South Carolina real estate attorney, you’ll be able to sleep well at night knowing that the title to your property is free-and-clear.

5) They’ll Handle All the Important Documents

In addition to the purchase agreement, there are numerous other documents that need to be reviewed/submitted during the course of a real estate sale. This includes home inspections, disclosures (lead, asbestos, environmental hazards, structural issues, etc.), the deed, and more.

A real estate attorney will ensure that all documents are procured, carefully examined, and submitted to the appropriate party/institution in a correct and timely fashion — ultimately granting you peace of mind.

At Bernstein & Bernstein, our dedicated Columbia real estate attorneys are deeply experienced in facilitating South Carolina real estate transactions. If you’re planning to sell or purchase a home in the Columbia area, give our office a call to learn more about how we can help you through the process.