Why are lawyers required when you buy real estate? It is not a legal requirement to use a lawyer, but it will save you a lot of time and frustration and make the sale much smoother. Lawyers specializing in real estate will be well worth the cost. For their fee, they will:
- Search the property's title to ensure that there are no existing mortgages or liens registered against it;
- Search the City Zoning to make sure the property complies with the zoning;
- Search gas, water and electrical records to determine whether there are any work orders attached;
- Determine if property taxes are up to date;
- Prepare the land transfer affidavit;
- Register the transfer of title and the mortgage.
In addition to their fee, you are responsible for the lawyer's "disbursements". These include fees the lawyer paid on your behalf, plus any long distance calls, photocopies, etc; Other closing costs include your share of the property taxes. The Statement of Adjustments will itemize all amounts.