By Warren Luccitti, Esq.
Many people often try to save a dollar here or there because they are tight for money. A perfect example is when people do not retain legal counsel even though significant legal rights are concerned. What my colleagues and I often see, are people signing away their rights without knowing what they're doing. Real Estate transactions involving $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 or more, are entered into without the benefit of an attorney to guide and protect them. The usual scenario is that you have the buyer, seller, real estate agent, and title company agent with a bunch of documents to be signed that you took no part in drafting. Nobody there represents your legal interests, and nobody there can even give you legal advice even if they wanted to. Nobody there has a legal obligation to provide any guidance to you, nor to protect your interests concerning the legal effect of the signature you're placing on the documents.
The sage advice of “read before you sign” is valuable. But, it is only half the battle. The other half is knowing the full extent of the legal ramifications of signing the documents. You have two choices when you're about to sign your name to a real estate transaction: One, you can "throw caution to the wind" and take the loss no matter how hard it hits you; or, two, you can invest in some "peace of mind" by retaining a lawyer who can guide you and protect your interests. When it comes to real estate transactions, please do not be "penny-wise and pound-foolish."
Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that this is for general interest and informational purposes only, and not legal advice. Exceptions to general rules will often exist. Speak directly with an attorney when seeking legal advice.
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