If you plan to sell your home, you might want to avoid the fees that real estate agents charge and keep more of the profit. This is typically referred to as For Sale by Owner (FSBO). Handling the home sale yourself has benefits and pitfalls you should consider before taking on such a transaction.
It is important to first consult with a trustworthy real estate attorney to help manage issues that might surface during negotiations or the transfer of a title. Contact an Altus For Sale by Owner lawyer to discuss your unique property and what services we can provide.
Does Oklahoma Require Sellers to Engage Real Estate Lawyers?
It may be tempting to try to sell and close on a real estate deal by yourself, but many states subscribe to the belief that a real estate lawyer is essential for the integrity of home and business sales. A lawyer not only understands Oklahoma real estate law, but can identify and solve problems with transactions, and make sure that you meet state legal requirements.
Although Oklahoma does not require FSBO sellers to employ real estate attorneys, more than 20 states currently do, and for a good reason. The pitfalls of bad contracts, fraudulent representation by the buyer or seller, and disclosure issues can tank a prospective home sale. For those reasons, we recommend contacting an Altus attorney to discuss property slated for sale by the owner.
What Do FSBO Lawyers Do for Clients?
Real estate attorneys do not attempt to set a price for a seller’s property when the seller intends to act as the agent, but legal counsel does handle any underlying errors or disputes that threaten the deal’s closure. For example, many real estate contracts contain contingencies, which are conditions that must be satisfied before the sale closes. Most buyers insist on the return of their money when contingencies are not met.
Inspection is a common contingency, with buyers permitted to inspect the property and back out of the deal if the property does not meet expectations. Other common contingencies include:
- Financing contingency, in which the buyer must secure a mortgage to buy the property; and if the loan is not approved, they do not have to go forward with the purchase
- Sale contingency in which the buyer must sell an existing home before the home they contracted for can be purchased
- Title contingency in which the buyer will only purchase the property if the title is clear of liens
- Appraisal contingency in which the property sale will not go through unless a professional appraisal is conducted, and confirms the home’s value is equal to or greater than the sale price
Along with navigating contingencies, FSBO lawyers can advise individuals in Altus who are selling their own home on many different aspects, including how to split profits if the sellers are divorcing, and how to handle legal issues if a family would like to sell a home that belonged to a deceased loved one, to name a couple. We can draft and review purchase agreements to explain vague terms that are common with people who have little or no experience with real estate contracts. We are also available to address and fix conflicts with property titles, if necessary.
Oklahoma Disclosure Requirements
Under the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act, in most instances sellers are required to fill out a form about the condition of the property and any appliances included in the sale. It is important to understand the ramifications of some of the less obvious questions, such as if there are environmental hazards like asbestos present on the property.
A home seller may want to put emphasis on any renovations made to the property but trying to conceal other potential liabilities could pose a problem. Owners must disclose past problems with termites and other destructive pests, major storm and flooding problems in the past, and any structural defects in the foundation or roof.
Call an Altus For Sale by Owner Attorney for a Smooth Transaction
You have built up equity in your home – your most significant investment in time and money. You are ready for it to pay off and have plans to sell. You can keep more of the profits if you market and sell the property yourself, but should you?
With the help of Vernon Kincannon, PLLC, you can. Our attorneys can draft sale agreements, review title matters, and reckon with contingencies and disclosures. Contact an Altus for sale by owner lawyer today to discuss your home.