- Real Estate
With the rise of online real estate databases like Zillow and Redfin, it has become increasingly easier for the average homeowner to post their home for sale without the help of a real estate broker. When a homeowner lists and sells their home without the aid of a real estate broker, it is called “For Sale by Owner,” or “FSBO.”
Like all choices in life, there are benefits and drawbacks to listing your home FSBO or with the help of a real estate attorney. This blog post will navigate the cost/benefit analysis homeowners face when deciding whether to sell FBSO and with or without the guidance of a real estate attorney.
Pros and Cons of FSBO
You’ve made up your mind to sell your home. You want to ensure that you receive the best value you can while generating as much money as possible. Can you really do it all on your own? Technically, yes, you can. Of course, it will take a good amount of work. However, there are some real benefits to selling your home FBSO: There are no fees associated with selling your home on Zillow.
Zillow acts as the platform by which you list your home in the hopes of attracting buyers. Where there is no agent, no commissions are owed. The ability to sell your home and retain the full amount of the sale price is an obvious and alluring concept for many sellers. On the other hand, an FSBO seller is in a unique position in that they not only act as their own real estate agent is showing the home and communicating with prospective purchasers and agents, but they must also navigate the many legal documents needed to complete the purchase and sale of a home. In doing so, an FSBO seller is opening himself up to possible liability.
For Sale with the Help of a Real Estate Attorney
Whether you sell your home FSBO or with the assistance of a real estate broker, it is never a bad idea to consult with a real estate attorney. In fact, some states even require the involvement of an attorney. The goal of the real estate attorney is to help protect a seller from foreseeable and unforeseeable risks associated with the sale of their home while ensuring the avoidance of legal dilemmas during the execution of the sale and continuing long after.
The sale of the property can be very complicated. Issues related to the following can weasel their way into the deal:
- Mandatory defect disclosure laws
- Water rights
- Boundary lines
Often, pre-approved buy and sell contracts will not cover every contingency that could arise in the sale of the property.
Real estate attorneys advise and can draft addendums and other legal documents to ensure the seller’s interests are protected and the sale is executed in accordance with state law. Further, the costs associated with hiring an attorney are relatively low compared to real estate commissions and the potential costs that could arise post-sale due to legal disputes. By hiring a real estate attorney, sellers can enter into a contract to sell their homes with confidence.