I'm in the process of buying a house directly from the owner (no bank involved). At what times will I need to have a lawyer with me and at about how much will it be? From what I've heard, I will have the lawyer with me when we create the buyer-seller agreement and at closing.
First negotiate the terms of sale and make careful notes of what property in the house you intend to be included - appliances, built in or not; Then bring that information to your attorney to draft the contract or to use the standard Missouri Residential Real Estate Contract. Be sure to include an inspection clause at the minimum. You can expect an experienced real estate attorney to charge $250-$350 an hour and to take several hours to complete the contract negotiations; You can expect another hour or two to review documents necessary for closing and to appear at closing. You should of course obtain title insurance.
This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The law and its application by the courts is constantly evolving and changing. This discussion is not to be taken as a definitive guide, and should not be relied upon to determine all fact situations. Each set of facts must be examined separately with the current case and statutory law analyzed and applied accordingly.
I encourage you to have an attorney from the start as we can normally save you time and money if involved before issues arise. For most RE matters attorneys will likely work by the hour at whatever the prevailing rates are in your area. Good luck.
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I agree with Mr. Miller - get the attorney involved early.
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