Three Tips to Avoid Fraud When Buying or Selling a Home
DES MOINES, IA – Your home is likely the biggest investment you have. Whether you're buying or selling, understanding the process will help you make smart financial choices and avoid legal complications. Check out these simple rules to avoid making costly mistakes:
Know how to choose a good team. While many people buy and sell real estate on their own, if it's not something you do every day, be sure to qualify the professionals you decide to work with. Interview several real estate agents and check references before you commit to one. Also make sure your home inspector is properly qualified and licensed to inspect property.
"Another important team member, that many overlook, is a real estate attorney," says Ann Cosimano, General Counsel for ARAG®, a global provider of legal solutions. "A real estate attorney plays a different role than an agent. While most agents are excellent representatives, they may not be aware of all the legal issues that should be considered in a real estate transaction. An attorney hired by you is there to represent your interests and ensure your rights are protected." Consider working with an attorney who will help you understand all the legal documents and exactly what legal liabilities you have accepted.
Know what lenders can and cannot do. Understand what your financial limits are and don't be swayed into borrowing more than you can afford to repay. Don't let anyone persuade you to sign loan documents with missing or incorrect information such as your income, debts or length of employment.
Don't sign anything you don't understand. Mortgage documents can be complicated and lengthy. Take the time to read what you're signing. If you need help, consider reviewing the documents with a skilled real estate attorney, a trusted real estate professional or a housing counselor with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Another smart option may be to enroll in a legal plan that offers convenient access to a nationwide network of attorneys and legal resources, and protects you when you're making major financial purchases. These types of plans, which are offered by providers like ARAG, give members peace of mind knowing that they'll have immediate access to professional services and resources when a legal need arises.
To find out more about how legal plans work, visit www.ARAGgroup.com.
ARAG (www.ARAGgroup.com), whose North American operations are based in Des Moines, IA, is a global provider of legal solutions. The company has an international premium base of almost $2 billion and it protects 15.5 million individuals and their families – worldwide. ARAG offers comprehensive legal plans that provide a smart and trusted path for resolving legal issues. This enables people to protect their families, finances and futures.