Purchases and Sales Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Depending on where you own a home, or where you are seeking to purchase a home in Pennsylvania, the Zillow Home Values Index identifies the average home value at $257,268 as of September 30, 2023. This represents a 3.5 percent increase in valuation since the same period a year earlier. The index also indicates that 47 percent of home sales sold higher than the price listed at the time of sale.
Purchasing a home is likely the largest investment most people will make in their lifetime, so it is not something to be taken lightly by ignoring financial and legal safeguards that can be put in place at the time of purchase. When it comes to commercial real estate transactions, the odds are even greater because of generally higher transaction prices and other factors that can render the deal more problematic down the road.
Pennsylvania does not require that an attorney be involved in any real estate transaction, but for many reasons it makes solid sense to do so. Most real estate forms, at least for residential transactions, are crafted by the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.
That being said, “boilerplate” contracts aim to protect the real estate agent or broker, of course. Commercial contracts can be more fluid and complicated, so if you’re in a commercial transaction, you will definitely need the advice of an experienced real estate attorney. Even in a residential transaction, however, a real estate attorney’s review and recommended amendments to a standard contract can prove vital.
If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in or around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, contact me, Marc V. Taiani, Esquire at Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. I will assist and advise you in every step of the real estate transaction process to help ensure everything goes smoothly and that your rights are fully protected. I serve clients throughout the state, including Penn Hills, Aspinwall, Ross Township, Shaler Township, Indiana Township, Oakmont Borough, Fox Chapel, and O’Hara Township.
Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Real Estate Purchase or Sale?
A real estate attorney can and should be involved in every aspect of the transaction. There are many other complicating factors in a real estate transaction that an agent or broker may want to rush past as quickly as possible to get the deal sealed – and their commission check on the way.
One major element is the condition of the property being sold. The Pennsylvania Code states: “A seller must disclose to a buyer all known material defects about property being sold that are not readily observable. This disclosure statement is designed to assist the seller in complying with disclosure requirements and to assist the buyer in evaluating the property being considered.”
However, the word “known” can be the sticking point. A seller may pretend not to know of conditions. You as the buyer must then perform your own due diligence by having a property inspector comb the structure, or structures, for any defects or problem areas, and then you should request the seller to fix them.
In doing this, it’s not generally a good idea to follow the recommendation of your real estate agent in picking the inspector. Your agent will likely recommend someone they know that will provide quick services even if defects go undiscovered or played down.
The title search -- aimed at discovering if there are any liens, encumbrances, outstanding loans, or claims to the title of the property -- is another important aspect of any real estate transaction. Again, your agent my recommend a title company of their choosing to perform this search, and again, this is likely because that company or agent is swift.
Swift means a more rapid closing of the deal, and a more rapid commission check. You should find your own title search firm, and an experienced real estate attorney is a perfect fit for this. Swift may not be in your best interest.
Other issues that may arise, or may go unmentioned by your agent or broker in a transaction involve matters like boundary disputes and adverse possession incidents. For a commercial property, there may be also be zoning and use issues that need to be explored. An attorney can guide you in these areas as well.
Purchases and Sales Attorney Serving
If you are a buyer or seller of real property in or around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, contact me at Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. to provide you with one-on-one services for the transaction you’re eyeing. I have the experience, knowledge, and resources to look out for your best interests. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how I can help.