What “For Sale By Owner” Sellers Should Know
Are you deciding whether you should sell your home without the help of a real estate agent? Here are some legal matters to consider in the “For Sale by Owner” process of selling your home:

AS IS Sale Contract
Drafting a real estate contract is no easy task and therefore it is recommended you seek legal counsel to draft the contract for you. This contract must be able to safeguard your interests and make sure it provides certain assurances to your buyer.

Disclosure laws
As a seller, you are required by law to disclose any known issues with your home to the buyer. This includes all issues that are not easily viewable by the buyer, like leaks in the ceiling or termites. If you fail to disclose any known issues with the home to the buyer, you may be held liable for the damages.

Selecting a Title Company
Generally, the seller chooses the title company. The title company will conduct a title search, which will uncover any liens, encumbrances, or other defects with the title. Also, the title company usually acts as the closing agent who will facilitate the signing of all necessary documents to transfer title from the seller to the buyer.

Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
Hiring a real estate attorney to handle your closing documents is well worth the money as your attorney will make sure there are no surprises at closing and all parties are following their contractual obligations. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice during your closing since neither your real estate agent nor title company employees are attorneys. Additionally, title companies have a limited scope and can only handle certain transactions so they may end up referring you to an attorney.

Author: Ness Chakir, Esq.

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