Why You Need a Lawyer for FSBO Residential Transactions

When It Comes to Home Sweet Home, Don’t Go On Your Own

Owning a home is not just the dream of millions of Americans, but it is also the key to growing wealth. Purchasing a home is one of the largest expenditures most people will ever make, but it is also the largest investment they will ever have, since the value of real estate, historically, goes up. Money put into a home can be taken out later as equity, or as cash when downsizing as an empty-nester.

In the App Age, more and more people are skipping the middle man and entrusting their finances to their smartphones. From finding extra income through a ride-sharing app or reselling shoes to managing investments with the touch of a finger, the do-it-yourself mindset brought about by smart devices has naturally extended to the realm of real estate.

Homebuyers are now able to find properties without the aid of a real estate agent. Sellers can list their properties without going through a listing agreement with a real estate brokerage.

In theory, a buyer and seller can come to an agreement without the involvement of any third parties, print out paperwork, and enact a transaction worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

But should they?

Not without a lawyer.

Save on Overall Cost, Not Just Upfront

Now, when putting your home up for sale “by owner,” or when buying directly from an owner, there are stages you can do alone. By searching for your new home, or listing your old one, without the aid of a real estate agent or brokerage, you can save tens of thousands in fees and commission.

However, by skipping the involvement of am experienced closing attorney, buyers and sellers involved in a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) residential real estate transaction are risking the invalidation of a sale contract, the loss of a home, and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of loss as well as thousands of dollars in legal fees to remedy any problems.

Without an experienced real estate lawyer to look over the sale contract and property title, you risk future disputes over the true ownership of the house, such as if the seller did not disclose that the property was included as part of a contested will.

The Role of an Experienced Massachusetts Real Estate Attorney

While a real estate attorney, in this case a closing attorney, is chosen by the buyer, the attorney represents the whole real estate transaction. A closing attorney makes sure all parties involved—buyer, seller, and any third-party intermediaries such as an escrow agent—fulfill their obligations and that all paperwork is legally in order.

If you are considering selling or buying FSBO, call our office today to discuss your legal needs in the purchase of your new home or any property.

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