CA housing market dips in 2014, brings attention to need for lawyer

CA housing market dips in 2014, brings attention to need for lawyer

Buying a home can be the single biggest investment an individual makes in his or her lifetime. Although the markets in some areas of the country offer homes for reasonable prices, California is notorious for its high cost of real estate. This is particularly true in areas of Southern California.

Real estate market of Southern California in flux

A recent report by the Los Angeles Times notes the housing market in Los Angeles and surrounding areas continues to go through fluctuations. Although housing market sales have declined overall, purchases of high cost homes over $800,000 is on the rise. According to the report purchases in this market have jumped almost 40 percent since January of 2013.

Whether purchasing a high cost home or finding one that falls closer to the median price in the state of $380,000, a home purchase is a significant purchase. Those considering purchasing or selling a home should take steps to better ensure their interests are protected.

Role of a real estate attorney

Legal counsel can play a significant role in a home purchase. Some common benefits include:

  • Saving money. An attorney can review the process to help ensure the buyer or seller is not paying unnecessary costs. This can include reviewing brokerage costs and closing costs. If unneeded expenses are found, the attorney can also help negotiate a deal that is in your interest.
  • Avoiding common problems. Real estate transactions that are completed through the use of real estate agents without the use of a real estate attorney generally rely on standardized forms. These forms handle a variety of issues but are not catered to your unique situation. An attorney can draft documents that are catered to your needs. This can include the addition of provisions addressing any alterations or updates done to the property by previous owners, potential presence of hazardous waste or the legal consequences that apply if the transaction falls through prior to the closing date.
  • Ensuring your interests are protected. Although a real estate agent may look out for your interests, conflicts may exist. After all, the agent only gets paid after the sale is complete. An attorney can look over the documents to better ensure your interests are protected. This can include reviewing documents for the presence of unpaid taxes or the presence of other buyers. It is not unheard of for a seller to accept two offers on a piece of real estate.

Navigating through the legalities of a residential real estate transaction can be intimidating. As a result, those who are purchasing or selling a home should contact an experienced California real estate attorney to review the transaction and better ensure their interests are protected.