For the majority of Americans, selling or buying a house is their single biggest investment transaction. And just like every other big financial deal, it must be performed with the correct legal guidance to avoid errors and potential legal liabilities.
Legal guidance is especially vital in the event you are engaged in a For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) transaction. In this particular kind of property transaction, the seller doesn’t possess the expertise of a qualified real estate agent, and this also may be true for buyers. Working with many legal details during an FSBO transaction can be incredibly confusing for those without the knowledge of the precise regulations and rules that govern a home sale or purchase.
There are many things a real estate attorney is able to do for sellers and buyers:
- Represent your interests throughout the transaction.
- Advise you regarding disclosure obligations to prevent liability.
- Give advice on what is required of you by law as either a seller or a buyer.
- Prepare the correct legal documents for the sale or purchase, including promissory notes, deeds, etc.
- Examine contracts along with other legal documents provided to you by another party to the transaction, including purchase contracts, promissory notes, loan agreements, etc.
- Give advice on ways to protect assets, like establishing a limited liability company for property investments or perhaps a trust.
- Negotiate and properly memorialize the terms of a contract.
- Ensure that the sale or purchase of property is in compliance with local and state laws.
- Translate the “legalese” in standard purchase agreements so that you understand your responsibilities and rights.
- Help settle any disputes that could arise.
- Advise you on the options for taking title to the home for estate planning or tax purposes.
- Advise you regarding title issues, including all encumbrances or liens on the property.
- Advise you on the best options for financing the transaction and purchasing title insurance.
- Review all closing documents to make sure everything has been done properly and represent you at the closing.
Even if you’re working with an experienced real estate agent, real estate attorneys can add value in reviewing all the documents before the closing since real estate agents are not allowed to provide legal advice.
Our attorneys represent buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, lenders, borrowers, trustees, guarantors, shareholders, partners, and others. We structure, negotiate, and document a variety of real estate and financing transactions, such as leases, purchase and sale agreements, loans, and development agreements for a variety of commercial and residential projects. Contact us for more details.