Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FSBO- For Sale By Owner in Colorado- Should You Hire An Attorney?

Selling Your Home? Get An Attorney!

Residential home owners are eager to maximize their cash proceeds when selling their home, and as a result, many are choosing to sell their property without the help of a real estate agent.  Many homeowners believe that For Sale by Owner (FSBO) transactions can be beneficial to them by avoiding the brokerage fees associated with paying a real estate commission to their agent, or limiting the commission paid to a buyer's agents.  Personally, I believe Realtors play a vital role in assisting buyers and sellers through the transaction process. However, if you insist on “going it alone",you should consider retaining a real estate attorney to help you through the process.

Why Do I Need An Attorney?

Without the assistance of an agent, FSBO sellers and unrepresented buyers need assistance with contracts, title, survey and closing matters.  Unlike “attorney states” where attorneys play an active role in representing the interests of buyers and sellers in real estate transactions, Colorado is a “non-attorney state”, and unfortunately, attorneys are rarely utilized in the FSBO process.  This can lead to problems down the road for sellers and buyers alike.

What Issues Could Arise?

Real estate transactions that are handled in an improper or sloppy fashion can lead to legal and financial implications down the road.  FSBO sellers and unrepresented buyers should consider engaging an experienced real estate attorney to assist in navigating a residential real estate transaction. An experienced real estate lawyer can help protect their client’s legal and financial interests in the sale of their property.  Typically, your lawyer will not assist you in setting the price to list your home or pressure you into selling at a certain time of year.  Instead, his main priority should be to assist in avoiding legal pitfalls and maximize your financial result when you sell the property.  As a result, you remain primarily in control of your transaction.

What Will An Attorney Do For Me?

A good real estate lawyer will have a comprehensive understanding of real estate transactions, which are riddled with extensive paperwork and legal complexities. He or she should guide you through the complicated process by creating structure to the sale.  This should include overseeing or handling the following steps in the transaction:
  • Drafting of the Purchase Contract
  • Review and analysis of title issues  
  • Legal compliance with Colorado's lead paint and other required disclosures
  • Consultation and advice regarding property inspections
  • Draft and review of transactional paperwork
  • Prepare for and attend the Closing

Whether you are contemplating selling or purchasing a home, consider bringing in a real estate professional to help you with this important transaction.  If not a Realtor, you should strongly think about hiring a qualified real estate attorney to assist you in navigating through this often complicated process. 


Eric L. Nesbitt, Esq.
Law Offices of Eric L. Nesbitt, PC
Phone 303-741-2354
Nesbitt Law Offices Website

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