Aug 22, 2011

For Sale By Owner Tip to staying Legal

All homes are for sale by owner because the owner holds the title. Homes for sale are offered by either unrepresented sellers or by agents who represent and advise the seller while marketing their home. Selling your home without an agent can be a complex process with legal and financial risks.

If you are not skilled in the area of writing binding business contracts you may end up having your transaction fail, or ending up with a legal or financial liability because you made a mistake. Many home sales have been lost due to incomplete paperwork, lack of inspections or not meeting disclosure laws.

Texas is one of the most demanding states when it comes to selling real estate. You must become educated about buyer's contingencies, seller disclosure laws, lead based paint issues, financing options, title and deed requirements. Lack of proper disclosures are often the cause of post-sale legal disputes.

Individual sellers aren't subject to as many fair housing guidelines as real estate agents, but it's smart to follow all fair housing laws, just to make sure you don't encounter legal problems.

If you do not fully understand the legal ramifications and necessary steps required in selling a home, hire a real estate attorney. Don't cut corners here. An attorney not familiar with real estate processes and closing procedures could cost you and delay the closing. Neglecting to get guidance from an attorney or Realtor can cost you money, not save it. Factor in the extra attorney cost when looking at your bottom line.

I'd recommend that you contact your real estate attorney now and prepare a contract that you can have on hand. If you find a buyer, you want to be able to execute a contract without delay. Verbal agreements cannot be enforced. Put every aspect of your contract in writing and make sure that everyone involved signs the agreement. Once you've reached an agreement and arrive at the contract stage, you must be aware of any contingencies the buyer has.

The contract should spell out what happens to the buyer's earnest money, if the deal falls through. The earnest money is not yours

There are so many details and fine print, creating countless pitfalls involving your life's savings. Making even a small mistake can mean serious trouble. It's one thing to find a buyer and get a contract. It's another thing to make that sale go through. You need to stay on top of necessary paperwork, including inspections, surveys, title insurance, notice of escrow and loan approval to ensure a successful closing.


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