When do I need a real estate attorney and how much does it cost?

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.

Kansas City, MO -

Attorney Answers (3)

Leonard Komen

Leonard Komen

Commercial Real Estate Attorney - Saint Louis, MO
Answered

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.

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M. Todd Miller

M. Todd Miller

Landlord / Tenant Lawyer - Jefferson City, MO
Answered

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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Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar

Real Estate Attorney - Toms River, NJ
Answered

I agree with Mr. Miller - get the attorney involved early.

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