Top 6 Mistakes Sellers Make When Selling a Home
On September 16, 2018 by Eric Klein
- Failing to Disclose – Most lawsuits following the sale of a home involve the failure to disclose defects. For example, if you know flooding occurs in the garage after a rainstorm, you have a duty to disclose it to the buyer. Failing to disclose it could result in you paying the entire cost of repairs plus attorneys’ fees and costs. Alternatively, disclosing it early allows the seller to negotiate the issue away when the buyer invariably asks for a price reduction.
- Everything is Negotiable – A seller should not be misled into thinking there’s only one way to sell their home. In Florida, everything is negotiable in the home-buying process, which means sellers have to be prepared for the unexpected. For example, a realtor might insist that a buyer in Broward County choose the title company, but this isn’t actually true. Anyone can choose the title agent, it doesn’t have to be the buyer. Similarly, a realtor might try talking about standard industry practices, but these practices don’t always benefit the seller. For instance, a seller can negotiate to have the buyer pay all closing costs.
- Not Using an Attorney – An attorney is the only licensed professional who can rightfully provide legal advice during a real estate transaction. Containing more than 11,000 words, the average Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase is filled with legal jargon that you’ll need an attorney to interpret. While a real estate agent may be able to complete the contract, they do not know the rights and obligations created by the contract, and they are most definitely not allowed to explain what any of it means. Prior to signing the contract, sellers are encouraged to contact an attorney to learn more about their rights and obligations.
- Using the Wrong Attorney – Not every attorney is equal, and not every attorney will understand the ins and outs of real estate law in the way you need them to. Even among the most experienced real estate lawyers, only some will have courtroom experience handling disputes. You’ll want an attorney with courtroom experience because they will know how deals fall apart, as well as how to prevent this from happening. The right attorney will be able to provide you with real-world advice on the pros and cons of fighting with the buyer.
- Going Cheap – A home is the biggest and most substantial sale most people will make in their lifetimes. As such, be wary of choosing the cheapest option possible. Investing in an attorney now can protect you from losing money and ending up in court later. Protecting yourself is more important than preserving a few dollars on the sale price.
- Relying on a Realtor – There are minimal requirements for becoming a realtor, which has resulted in 240,000+ active real estate agents in Florida. Although there are many honest realtors out there, there are many more who are only looking to close the deal; and they’ll do it at whatever cost it takes, as they’ll be out the energy and time it took to bring the buyer and seller together. These types of realtors do not care if your home is selling below market value, and they won’t think about you being saddled with all the closing costs. They are nothing more than commission hounds who aren’t above cajoling and threatening their clients into making serious financial mistakes.
Don’t jeopardize the sale of your home by using an inexperienced attorney or by relying on a real estate agent. Instead, entrust your case to our Boca Raton real estate lawyers at Klein Law Group. Call 561-220-6659 or contact us online.