Michigan Real Estate Closings: Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Michigan Real Estate Closings: When Do I Need an Attorney?

real estate closings

Michigan Real Estate Closings Sometimes Require Assistance

Not every Michigan real estate closing, sale or purchase, requires the use of an attorney. Some transactions, however, would benefit from at least a review of the pertinent documentation involved by a skilled Michigan real estate attorney. It is safe to say that all commercial transactions ought to be reviewed and negotiated by an attorney, given insurance, liability, tenant and rental considerations, environmental, and other potential issues generally more relevant to the purchase and sale of commercial properties. But what about residential real estate closings? When is an attorney of use in a typical residential home sale and purchase?

Michigan Real Estate Closings and Attorneys

A Michigan real estate attorney will likely not be needed in the "typical" home sale scenario. That is, the sale or purchase of a home of a middle-class or working-class value in a middle-class or working-class neighborhood is not likely to require much more oversight than will be provided by the title agent you use as buyer or seller in the transaction. Title agents are usually quite adept at ensuring that the proper documentation and forms are utilized and completed according to Michigan law, and, for most typical buyers and sellers, further costs need not be expended for the similar, additional services an attorney might provide. However, in these circumstances, a buyer or seller of a residential property should consider retaining an experienced Michigan real estate lawyer to assist with the transaction:

  • A higher-priced home (over $300,000)
  • Access issues are at stake, including lake, river or waterfront access
  • Privacy is a concern
  • Restrictive homeowners or condominium association guidelines in play
  • Land contract sales or purchases (of any amount!)
  • Shared boundary, common use, driveway, or easement issues
  • Any other transactions involving unique issues specific to the particular property

What Will a Michigan Real Estate Attorney Do?

A good Michigan real estate attorney will review the documentation involved in the transaction, particularly the broker form, for compliance with Michigan law, objectionable terms or changes, tailoring to the client's interests and object in the transaction, and generally ensure that the paperwork reflects the outcome that the buyer is getting what he or she wants in the condition expected (or as close to it as the appraisers, inspectors, and other valuation experts involved the steps leading up to the closing have been able to recommend) and that the seller is receiving the value for the transfer of the property expected. The attorney will ensure that any special disclosures required, such as for lead paint in older dwellings, are present and accounted for. The lawyer will review all of the language, track any recommended changes, and prepare an addendum form to the broker form to correct or revise anything needing tweaking (or outright further negotiation). The attorney at a residential real estate closing is there to catch mistakes, to offer a level of security and "insurance" that things are going to go as hoped once you put pen to paper and sign the (many, many) dotted lines. If you are a Michigan resident and would like to explore your options for real estate matters with an experienced Livonia Michigan real estate attorney, please contact us at (866) 674-2317 or click the button below to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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