1. Do I need an attorney when I purchase real estate in Pennsylvania?
Unlike in some states, you are not required by law to retain an attorney when you purchase real estate in Pennsylvania. However, keep in mind that the purchase of real state is often the largest financial investment that an individual makes during his or her lifetime. The typical transaction is likely to involve lengthy contracts, legal documents and title insurance which are often quite complex and difficult to understand.
2. What are Transfer Taxes?
Transfer Taxes are taxes collected at the closing and are based upon the value or price of the real estate being transferred. In Monroe County, Pennsylvania, the transfer tax is 2% (1% of which is retained by the local and county governments and 1% of which goes to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania).
Typically in most cases, the buyer and seller agree to equally pay the transfer taxes in the transaction. However, some real estate purchase contracts state that it is the buyer's responsibility to pay all of the transfer taxes due in the transaction. A purchaser should have his or her attorney carefully review the Agreement of Sale before it is signed to determine what portion of the real estate transfer taxes the buyer will need to pay.