You found a perfect Pennsylvania home to buy. Your offer was accepted, and your real estate agent tells you what comes next in the process. It all sounds simple and standard — until you hear the part about hiring an attorney to help with the purchase process.
Why do you need an attorney? Is your agent signaling that something could go wrong with the transaction? Not at all. About half of the states in the U.S. – Pennsylvania is one of them – require an attorney to be involved to finalize the deal.
Once your agent’s job is done – the terms have been agreed to and the sales contract has been signed by both the buyer and seller – the attorney will step in. It’s the attorney’s job to review the contract and also to work with the seller to negotiate the completion of any repairs, should the home inspection show that work needs to be done. The attorney also will review the title search to make sure the property you’re buying has a clear title.
While we hope all home purchases will be simple and easy, they sometimes aren’t, and having your attorney on board can help to solve any problems. The more troublesome transactions seem to be those that occur with a property that is bank-owned or a short sale, an asset in an estate sale, could have a structural issue or is located in an area such as a flood zone.
While you weren’t expecting to need to hire an attorney to complete your transaction, if you encounter any hiccups during the home-buying process, you’ll be glad you had an attorney on your team.