Most home sellers hire a real estate agent to help them sell their home. Selling a property is an important step and often is accompanied by other changes in life i.e. job relocation, downsizing, divorce or separation. Real estate agents can be effective marketers of property on behalf of clients. That is there job and what they are paid to do.
However, real estate agents are not attorneys and are prohibited by law from giving legal advice.
An attorney that specializes in real estate should review all listing contracts, offers and counter-offers before the agreement is signed. As far as attorney fees, these fees can be agreed to by all the parties and paid out of closing. It is unnecessary for you to come up with money out of your pocket.
There are stages that sellers typically go through to sell a property. Each stage is critical to the success of the overall process and exists for a reason.
- Reviewing the listing information and verifying the accuracy (square feet, number of rooms, school district, taxes, home owner dues, boundaries of the lot) and commission percentages.
- Completing a seller disclosure statement, which discloses the condition of the property and known defects
- Responding to inspections conducted on behalf of the buyer
- Working with the buyers lender on appraisals and surveys
- Appearing at a title company to review the settlement statement, title work, and sign the necessary legal documents to close on the property and turn over legal ownership to the buyer.
Every stage of this process is very important and exists for a reason.
Real estate agents typically get paid on commission.Beware that a real estate agent may suggest that you enter into a sellers agency agreement prior to review of that document by an attorney.
An attorney who practices in real estate should review all agency contracts before they are formally signed and entered.
The sellers disclosure statement is a very important document and is the source of most lawsuits in real estate. Inspection reports are critical to determining the soundness of a property. These documents in the transaction process exist for a reason. A real estate agent cannot give legal advice.
Before you sign a real estate document it is critical that you have an attorney that is representing only your interest.