1. Select a reputable and experienced professional
It is crucial to properly protect yourself when selling your home by becoming informed. There are many complex legal issues in a real estate transaction. The first step in protecting yourself is to select reputable and experienced professionals to represent your interests. Your real estate agent should have extensive experience with the process of buying and selling a home. It is wise to hire a local real estate lawyer who can help to make sure your interests in the deal are protected.
2. Inspect the Condition of your Home
Owners who have lived in their home for a long time, or even a short time, forget about all the repairs and improvements that may have been made to the property. It takes time to go through your documents to help to recall what has been done to the home. It is highly suggested that Owners create a list of all of the improvements and major repairs that have been done to the home. This information will be needed when it comes time to completing the disclosures about the condition of the property.
3. Disclose, Disclose, Disclose
Sometimes Owners are reluctant to disclose all of the conditions of the property. Owners may be concerned that a Buyer will not like this condition or that repair and will not want to buy the home. However, it is recommended that you accurately disclose the condition of the property. An Owner who fails to accurately and truthfully disclose all material facts related to the property could be found liable to the Buyer for non-disclosure. It is far simpler and safer to disclose all material conditions during the transaction to put the Buyer on notice about the property condition.
4. Understand the Contract Terms
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the tiny print and language in a real estate contract and documents. Lawyers and real estate professionals will help you simplify and understand the contract terms and document contents so you know your rights and responsibilities. If you do not understand something, ask. If you do not like the term, ask about modifying the term in an Addendum.
5. No Dual Agency
It is important to understand the relationship of all parties to the transaction.
Real estate agents earn their compensation by a commission based on a percentage of the selling price of your home. Agents want to represent the Buyer and the Seller so they can receive a larger commission. The risk to a Buyer or Seller is that one a real estate agent cannot represent both sides of a transaction without having a conflict of interest. That means that the agent, despite their best efforts, cannot effectively represent both sides of a transaction and make one party’s interests the most important. Get your own real estate agent who is only representing you.
6. When in Doubt…..
Contact a skilled real estate attorney to answer your questions and help guide you through the transaction. We can help you with your questions and concerns. Call us at (925) 463-9000 or send an email.
Lisa Wills of the Law Offices of Lisa D. Wills is a skilled real estate attorney in Pleasanton, San Ramon, Dublin, Livermore, Danville, Castro Valley and Hayward, CA. Please contact Lisa Wills by email at the Law Offices of Lisa D. Wills or call (925) 463-9000.