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What is a lawyer's role when you purchase a home?

For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest financial transaction -- and the most complex -- they will complete. Because of this, most people will have dozens of questions about the process.

An experienced real estate attorney is a valuable ally when you purchase a home, a business or other piece of property. While you might believe that retaining an attorney is simply too expensive, there is no set fee for what a real estate attorney will charge. You can also ask that your attorney only handle specific tasks in order to keep the fee as low as possible. For example, you may want your attorney to handle:

-- Reviewing all legal documents, including the contract, closing agreement and title.

-- Searching for issues with the title, such as a right-of-way that would allow someone else to travel across your property to reach another property.

-- Ensuring the correct zoning regulation is present.

-- Ensuring the real estate taxes are current.

When it comes to a real estate contract, there is enough confusing legal terms to make you scratch your head more than once. By having your attorney review the purchase agreement, you can rest assured that your interests are protected. In addition, he or she can ensure that the right property -- both real and personal -- is included.

An attorney can also ensure that Michigan's Seller's Disclosure Act is properly complied with and you are made aware of what must be disclosed to you by the seller before the contracts are signed.

An experienced real estate attorney can prove invaluable to you as you purchase a home. Understanding this complex area of the law can make your home purchase a pleasant experience.

Source: Michigan Bar Association, "Real Estate Buyer Beware," accessed Dec. 23, 2016

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