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Old 06-03-2019, 08:08 AM
 
540 posts, read 306,310 times
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In NJ AND NY, a lawyer is required


Plan to buy a investment property in PA
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
233 posts, read 141,151 times
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As far as I understand, New York State law requires that real estate contracts be drafted by an attorney, but that does not mean that the seller is required by law to have representation (even though most do).

I’m not aware of any jurisdiction in which state or local law requires the buyer to be represented by legal council—not even in New York State or New Jersey. That said, the buyer would be foolish not to have his/her attorney thoroughly review the real estate contract and all related documents. That is true in any state, including Pennsylvania.

I wouldn’t buy real estate in Pennsylvania without legal representation.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:41 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,454 posts, read 43,301,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briantroutman View Post
As far as I understand, New York State law requires that real estate contracts be drafted by an attorney, but that does not mean that the seller is required by law to have representation (even though most do).

I’m not aware of any jurisdiction in which state or local law requires the buyer to be represented by legal council—not even in New York State or New Jersey. That said, the buyer would be foolish not to have his/her attorney thoroughly review the real estate contract and all related documents. That is true in any state, including Pennsylvania.

I wouldn’t buy real estate in Pennsylvania without legal representation.
Some do.

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/r...tate-attorney/

Having linked the above I will say that it is incorrect for Maryland where an attorney is not required.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:41 AM
 
490 posts, read 147,304 times
Reputation: 1758
I've bought literally dozens of properties in PA, and haven't used a lawyer to do so, in decades. The process is extremely regulated, and standardized. My experience has been that a lawyer really has little, if anything, to offer in the process. The same reams of forms are completed by trained title agents in every case. The seller completes a multi page disclosure of the property's condition, and the title insurer does a thorough title search. IF I was dealing with a sketchy property or sketchy seller, I MIGHT decide to hire a lawyer with extensive experience in real estate, but for most transactions, no. In fact I did many transactions with a real sketchy "investor" a vulture who bought from very distressed sellers, for pennies, as they were days away from losing properties at sheriff sales. I would be hesitant to leave my wallet alone in a room with that guy, and I always bought title insurance, but still never hired a lawyer, and never had an significant issue.

I sold dozens of properties, typically to folks from out of the area or state. Occasionally they would hire a lawyer. The reason I didn't see this on a more regular basis is that most buyers trust their Realtor, and take their word for the fact that generally there is no need, or compelling reason for one, in this state. When I did encounter a seller's lawyer, they were typically small time, local general practice types, who were there for client hand holding. Nothing wrong with that at all, but not necessary in the least. Occasionally a seller's lawyer can really screw things up, and kill a deal without cause. On two occasions over a long career, I had to tell a potential buyer that they had a very small window to get their lawyer on-board, quit wasting my time, get to the closing table, or I'm moving on. One case was a local yokel attorney, a local legend of a pathological procrastinator, who could turn an hour's worth of work into a six month mess. The other was more interesting. The buyers were a sweet young couple, buying a new home of mine. They were nervous, so the wife's "big shot" yacht owning, high rolling idiot of a brother, volunteers the services of his personal attorney. Within 2-3 weeks of signing the contract, this greasy slime ball lawyer is doing anything he can think of, to inexplicably stall the transaction. At that point he starts asking for absurd documents to "review", like a copy of the blueprints. I say absolutely no to this silliness, and inform the potential buyer that I need to move on to a serious buyer. The buyer flips on the lawyer. His secretary folds and admits that the lying creep is in Africa for an extended safari, and has instructed her to do whatever she can think of to stall the deal, until he and his mistress return.

I might be cynical, but if you deal with enough "professional home inspectors" and lawyers, eventually you learn that the world would be a much better place without most of them.
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