With all of the money flying around during the process of buying a home, it's natural for shoppers to want to save a few bucks if they can. Unfortunately, this often drives buyers to hire legal representation late in the process. In extreme circumstances, the buyer might elect to not hire an attorney altogether.

This is a significant mistake. Due to the complexity of real estate transactions, issues often surface that can cost you a lot of money or prevent the sale of the home altogether. Understanding what those possible issues look like is critical to understanding the value of legal representation through the buying process.

Past Debts/Liens

Because a house is a large financial asset, it's often the foundation for legal issues involving money. As a result, it's not uncommon for a home to serve as collateral in other transactions. Also, property tax deficiencies and homeowner's association dues are often a real concern that can slide to a buyer's obligation list.

Your attorney will help you both discover when these debts are present and protect you from assuming liability. Best of all, the communication required to reach an agreement in these situations isn't your problem when you have legal representation. That way, you won't have to deal with any unpleasant arguments or uncomfortable meetings.

Failed Inspections

Your offer on a house is contingent upon the home passing an inspection. Often, your realtor will use a standard contract that states this fact--your lawyer doesn't add much value in that regard. However, if the home fails the inspection, your lawyer will have their chance to shine.

If you decide to reclaim your earnest money and back out of the deal, your lawyer will handle that. More importantly, if you hope to negotiate improvements to continue with the sale, your lawyer will run point on that for you. Since they know the local laws and statutes regarding home safety and compliance, they'll have the weight of the law on their side when they do.

Unexpected After-Sale Issues

Once you leave the title company with the keys to your new home, you might feel like you're out of the woods. Unfortunately, there are issues that can still rear their ugly head at this point. From personal property left in the home to disputes over structures and fences, you might be walking into a legal mess that you didn't know about.

If your lawyer has worked with you during the buying process, they're in a great position to continue to support you. The information they gathered to facilitate your move will serve as the basis for their legal support in the future. Above all, you'll always have someone to help you make an informed decision.

While it might seem like the money spent on a lawyer in the home buying process is wasted, nothing could be further from the truth. Even though you might never need to rely on them, you'll be glad your lawyer (like those at Bangs McCullen Butler Foye & Simmons LLP) is around if you do.