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Should I hire a lawyer?(5 posts)

Should I hire a lawyer?Kristin
Sep 6, 2002 2:09 PM
I'm buying a reconstructed condo (part of a conversion) from the property owner. I have been told that while its a good idea to have a lawyer, that he's really not going to have much to do in this case because the property is considered new. I did hire a realitor (even though I found the property on my own) and he will be at the closing with me. It will be frustrating if I hire a lawyer for $300 and then he doesn't do anything. But should I have one anyway??
probably notDougSloan
Sep 6, 2002 2:36 PM
I find that between the realtor and the title insurance people you are covered. You shouldn't need to hire a lawyer unless something goes wrong.

Doug
I haven't, but probably will next timecory
Sep 6, 2002 4:04 PM
I agree with Doug--you're probably fine without one. In California, where I grew up, and in Nevada where I live now, very few people get attorneys for those (relatively) small residential real estate transactions.
According to friends in the Midwest and East, though, people there almost always lawyer up for them. A close friend in Baltimore can't believe that people out here will spend $150,000 to, what, half a million average in California, and balk at paying $300 for somebody to represent you.
One small example of what can happen: I've lived in the same house for more than 20 years, sharing a dirt driveway with two other homes. When we bought it, it was way out in the country, barely a neighbor in sight. As the town moved out to surround us, it turned out that a third party owned a narrow strip of land that included our driveway. It wasn't on the deed or the maps, and we assumed (there's the big danger) we were all right.
Fortunately the guy was easy to deal with, and after all that time we certainly had established a prescriptive easement anyway (a legal right to use the road even though it belonged to somebody else; Nevada requires five years' use). But an attorney would have spotted the potential problem, and if he'd missed it, and we got jammed up, it would have been on him and not us.
does your realtor employ a lawyer already?ColnagoFE
Sep 9, 2002 7:23 AM
I know when we sold and bought recently our realtor has a lawyer on retainer (who is actually the brother of the owner) look over all the paperwork before we signed anything. made me feel better not hiring one ourselves. i figured he made enough selling our house anyway.
Where do you live?jtolleson
Sep 7, 2002 9:30 AM
Assuming you are not in one of the few jurisdictions that has the ridiculous requirement that you have counsel, then no.

A lawyer doesn't know any more (and sometimes knows less) about taking care of buyer than a good realtor does.

I should know; I've been a lawyer for 13 years.