There could be any number of things that could go left unaddressed without the proper support.
You might need an agent if you need someone who knows an area well so an agent could help people find the best location for a community they might want to move to. That is one of the biggest assets in using an agent but I think the commissions they charge is way too high for their limited hours of work especially during good times in the economy.
You do need an agent to make sure all the paperwork is handled correctly and the disclosure packet has been completed by the seller. Then there is the escrow that needs to be coordinated, appraisals and the whole loan process needs to be managed. The inspections and the repair needs to ne negotiated. All the hurdles that come in a Real Estate Transaction can be quite overwhelming and you can only get an agent to explain all this to you
An Attorney will just do the main purchase contract and the rest would be up to the buyer and seller to handle.
I used to live in Castro Valley so I know the area very well. If you need my help, let me know. We can handle the paperwork for a flat fee.
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
If you and the owner both decide to use an agent, things could be more beneficial to you cost-wise. Typically, an agent's commission is paid by the seller (for both the listing agent and the selling agent). Thus, you could eliminate the expense of an attorney or agent on your part. Just something to consider!
And do follow John's advice not to share an attorney or agent. Great point!
Alan Kurpiewski, RealtorÂ®
CA BRE 01912043
The benefit of going with an attorney is that they are overall usually cheaper than agents, however, they also don't provide many of the services an agent provides. They're great with the contracts, but most (but certainly not all) know little about inspections.
If you can each get your own agent for less than an attorney, that may give you the best overall value.