- Not Using an Attorney – Unlike the other people involved in the transaction, only an attorney is licensed to give legal advice. The average Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase is overflowing with legal jargon and contains over 11,000 words. While a real estate agent may have experience filling-in the blanks of this contract, they do not know the rights and obligations created by the contract, nor are they allowed to explain what any of it means. Prior to signing the contract, a buyer should contact an attorney to explain their rights and obligations.
- Everything is Negotiable – A buyer should not be misled into thinking the process is one-size-fits-all. Everything is negotiable when buying a home. For example, a realtor might insist that a seller in Palm Beach County must choose the title company, but this claim is incorrect. Anyone can choose the title agent. A realtor might try talking about standard industry practices, but these industry practices are not always designed to benefit the buyer. For instance, a buyer can negotiate to have the seller pay all closing costs.
- Using the Wrong Attorney – Not every attorney is equal. Similar to how a car mechanic is not qualified to fix an airplane engine, not every attorney knows the intricacies of real estate law. Even among seasoned real estate attorneys, most only have transactional experience, with only a select few having courtroom experience handling real estate disputes. Attorneys with courtroom experience are better because they know how deals fall apart, and the probable outcomes of going to court. They can give real world advice on the pros and cons of fighting with the seller.
- Relying on a Realtor – With minimal requirements for becoming a realtor, Florida boasts over 240,000 active real estate agents. Although many realtors provide honest advice, there are countless realtors just looking to close the deal at whatever cost. If the deal does not close, then the realtor is out the time and energy it took to bring the buyer and seller together. They do not care whether the home is a good fit or the walls are crumbling. These realtors are commission hounds that threaten and cajole their clients into making huge financial mistakes.
- Going Cheap – A home is the largest and most significant purchase most people will make in their lifetime. This is a home where you might raise a family, and the financial implications of obtaining a loan are staggering. With everything involved, it is amazing that people choose the cheapest property inspector, surveying company, or attorney. Spending money to make sure the home is everything you expect is more important than squeezing a few pennies on the purchase price.
- Failing to Consider Additional Costs – Careful attention must be paid to homeowners’ associations. You might be aware of monthly dues, but are you also familiar with special assessments pending? These are additional assessments charged by the association to repair or improve items. This might include the staggering cost of replacing a roof, repaving a parking lot, or building a new community facility. If an attorney helped prepare the purchase contract, there might be a clause requiring the seller to pay the entire special assessment at the closing. The buyer will not have to pay anything.
If you’re currently shopping for a new home in Florida, don’t wait to contact a Boca Raton real estate attorney at Klein Law Group. Your first consultation with a member of our team is free, so call now: 561-220-6659.