Do I Need a Lawyer for a North Carolina Real Estate Transaction?

Buying or selling a home is a major financial transaction for many residents of North Carolina, from the high dollar value to the fact that the subject property is more than just a piece of real estate. Your home is your safe haven and the place your family will make memories, so your rights and interests are on the line just as much as the money. From both sides of the transaction, statistics on North Carolina real estate reveal that the market is hot. Sellers will be pleased to learn that home prices are up 3 percent from February 2022 to 2023, while buyers gain an advantage from a 0.7 percent increase in homes for sale.

Whenever buying or selling residential real estate, parties are often tempted to go it alone and represent themselves to keep fees low. There are significant risks involved when you do not have legal counsel to guide you, especially considering the confusion over the role played by the real estate agent. It is wise to retain a Monroe, NC real estate attorney to advocate on your behalf, and the following reasons should be convincing.

Real Estate Lawyer v. Agents:

Initially, you should be aware of the role these professionals play in a real estate transaction. An agent is usually retained by the seller to list the home and attract buyers. In other words, the real estate agent works on behalf of the seller, a point that some buyers may not realize. While an attorney is not required to sell or buy a home, keep in mind that:

  • Only a lawyer can give you knowledgeable legal advice and take action to protect your rights. Real estate agents do not have this power.
  • Attorneys can draft, review, and negotiate the various contracts that are part of a real estate transaction. An agent has access to templates for these purposes, but cannot make modifications that would amount to giving legal advice.
  • It is important to have a lawyer conduct title searches to reveal any liens or encumbrances on the subject property. You will need advice if the process uncovers adjoining owners, construction liens, previous owners, and related problems.

Guidance with Challenges:

There are numerous issues that can arise from the point of signing a contract for the sale of residential real estate to closing on the transaction. These matters can impact a seller or buyer, so it is wise to get an attorney’s help with:

  • Contingency planning for unexpected delays;
  • Clarifying or modifying language in the sales contract;
  • Buying or selling real estate when you are not a resident of North Carolina;
  • Transactions involving a deceased person’s estate as seller through the probate process; and,
  • Real estate transactions involve divorce proceedings.

Representing You at Closing:

A real estate closing is a process rather than an event, and you have important rights to protect at every step along the way. A lawyer will guide you through the stages, which may include:

  • Handling deposit of earnest money into escrow;
  • The buyer obtaining a mortgage to purchase the home;
  • Getting an appraisal, inspection, and survey;
  • Working through title examinations and title insurance; and,
  • Finalizing all documents for closing, including the Warranty Deed, Bill of Sale, Closing Statement and loan paperwork.

Protecting You with Litigation:

Many disputes can be resolved without going to court, but litigation may be necessary in some cases. An attorney’s help is critical for both buyers and sellers, whether you need to file a lawsuit or defend one. You will need skilled legal assistance with:

  • Preparing or responding to initial pleadings;
  • Attending court appearances;
  • Handling motions, including motions to dismiss and those involving evidence;
  • Working through discovery, such as requests to admit facts, written interrogatories, and requests for documents;
  • Depositions, including your own and deposing other witnesses; and,
  • Mediation, arbitration, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Your attorney will also be at your side during the trial to present arguments, evidence, and testimony in favor of your position.

Our North Carolina Real Estate Lawyers Will Protect Your Interests

Buying and selling a home may not involve millions of dollars, but a smooth transaction means everything to you and your family. You know the other side has an attorney, so you level the playing field by retaining legal representation. To learn more about how Plyler, Long & Corigliano, LLP can assist with your situation, please contact our firm. Individuals in Union County, NC can call 704-741-5804 or visit our website to set up a consultation. After reviewing your circumstances, we can advise you on what to expect.