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4 of 6
4. No lawyer
4. No lawyer
Nearly everyone involved in a real estate transaction -- the seller, the buyer's real estate agent, the seller's agent and the mortgage broker -- has a vested interest in getting the deal done because they only get paid when the house is sold. So they may push a deal even if it's not in the best interest of the buyer.

One of the best defenses against making am expensive purchase you'll regret is to hire a real estate attorney -- even in cities where it's not standard practice. These professionals charge flat fees and their advice is objective.

It's nice to have someone on your side.

NEXT: 5. No contingencies

Last updated April 21 2010: 2:51 PM ET
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