Home Buying in Covina>Question Details

Irma Munoz, Home Buyer in Covina, CA

4sale by owner, what is procedure, is a lawyer needed?

Asked by Irma Munoz, Covina, CA Fri Jan 21, 2011

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Assuming that you are talking about buying a FSBO, you need some kind of representation, whether attorney or agent.

As Sergio pointed out, most FSBO sellers are willing to pay a buyer's agent commission, because they end up making sure the seller's end is covered by covering yours and they only have to pay 1/2 the commission.

A real estate attorney should be able to help you with paperwork, but most of them are not in the field doing deals and won't be able to offer an intelligent opinion on price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 19, 2011
Hi Irma, unless you are a home or city inspector that knows what you are getting into or what to look out for, we highly recommend that you hire a Realtor to look out for you. Remember that the seller pays the commission, not the buyer. We can Help. Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 18, 2011
P. S. Dp2--how are you, pal? Unfortunately, in California escrow and title companies will NOT engage in the practice of creating notes of providing legal advice to consumers. They will provide very limited services of this nature to Realtors and Brokers, but not for unrepresented consumer--ever. Title and Escrow companies are prohibited in this state from dispensing any legal services under their license from the California Department of Insurance. You're so lucky you can get that service in NY!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Hi Irma,

You have so many options with your home sale. If you decide to try it without a Realtor make sure that you know the state and Federal requirements for Seller disclosures in your state. You haven't saved any money on commission if you are penalized later for non-compliance with lead base paint disclosures, HOA disclosures or property disclosures. I would recommend checking with several local realtors to get a free market analysis to determine your home's value. Most agents will do this at no charge to have an opportunity to meet you and possibly earn your business in the future. They may even help you with some info. on disclosures. Or you could check with a local title company. Since most properties are sold through the MLS you will want to look into how you can get listed there as well with some great photos of a Q-tip clean house you should be on your way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Hi Irma,

Usually 4sale by owners dont mind paying a commission to an agent that has a qualified buyer and it will benefit you greatly to be represented by a Realtor in a home purchase as there are many legalities that are involved that a Realtor can protect you from. I have helped many buyers in the purchase of 4sale by owner property, let me know if you need my expertise as there are many aspects that you need to know prior to even thinking of negotiating an offer. Let me know Irma. 562-479-2813


Sergio Medina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Hello Irma and thanks for your post.

As Lance noted below--and he's absolutely correct, by the way--as a buyer, you need to be protected and the only way to do that is by having your own agent and representation. While having an attorney is highly recommended, if you're the FSBO or For Sale By Owner seller, few attorneys (even the real estate attorneys) have enough experience actually selling homes to correctly navigate a real estate transaction. Real estate attorneys not normally participate in sales, so they can and often do not have access to CAR or California Association of Realtor forms or local disclosures that can be important to protecting your rights as a buyer.

To ensure that your right are protected, that you offer a price commensurate to the value of the home, and that you're provided with expert guidance through the home sale, always work with a Realtor knowledgeable and experienced in your geographic area.

Good luck!

Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
Tel (408) 426-1616
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Technically, an attorney isn't necessary; most escrow companies could handle creating a note with simple terms for you. Yet, if your note had rather complicated terms, then you'd probably have to hire a real-estate attorney to create that note.

I'm an investor who likes to buy and sell properties with seller financing. My escrow/title company has a real-estate attorney, and their attorney drafts my notes. Nevertheless, I use my own real-estate attorney to create notes with more complicated terms.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Not needed, but recommended. Consult with a broker or an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011

It depends. Many FSBO (for sale by owner) sellers are willing to work with agents. I do not recommend doing this on your own, so ask the seller if they are working with agents. The contact your agent or interview a few to make sure you have the right one and go after it.

I can tell you from experience however that dealing with an unrepresented owner can be trying. These properties are frequently overpriced either for emotional reasons or because they are basing their pricing on their equity position, which can make closing a deal very difficult.

In my view it's even more important for you to have representation in this case because the seller may not have all the disclosures they need prepared due to misinformation or ignorance of the rules.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
The laws are different in different states. Here in NJ you can have a Realtor or a Lawyer handle the transaction or both. Anytime you're signing legal documents, it's always a good idea to have a lawyer in my opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
If you don't plan on utilizing an agent, do consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate for all related paperwork....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
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