But when it comes to making such a large and complicated financial decision, and particularly for first-time home buyers, a skilled real estate lawyer can help cut through the legalese, and even save you money in the long run.

For one thing, the individual or company you are buying from may not be forthright with the additional costs that come along with the property. Outstanding property taxes, utilities, work orders, and building permits can often be hidden from the potential purchaser until the eleventh hour, and even foisted upon the purchaser as an additional cost. The process for determining if any information has been hidden is complicated and lengthy, so a lawyer who can look into this for you can save you money and aggravations.

Additionally, real estate lawyers are well versed in understanding complicated legal documents and finding and renegotiating clauses that may not be of benefit to you. For example, ensuring that closing costs are capped will enable you to accurately plan your upcoming purchase costs, and finding hidden expenses such as warranty protection, builders’ liens, landscaping costs, and development charges early can prevent you from paying thousands more than you bargained for.

At the end of the process, a lawyer is required, for title searches, title insurance, deed registration, and of course, the transfer of funds. But a lawyer selected early can make the entire process smoother, less risky, and yes, less expensive.