Common Real Estate Law Questions and Answers
Q: Do I Have to Hire a Traditional Real Estate Broker to Sell My House?
A: The short answer is “no”, but like any situation there are benefits and drawbacks either way you go.
Q: Can I Hire an Attorney to assist with a Real Estate Transaction?
A: Yes. The web has transformed the way people buy and sell real estate. Today there aren’t many secrets to buying or selling a house. Some people just need an experienced hand in negotiating and closing the deal, and we can work as an attorney on an hourly or flat rate depending on the circumstances.
Q: What if I Want to Make an Offer on a House Without a Real Estate Agent?
A: A lawyer can assist with this, however most buyers agents are paid by the seller at closing, unless the transaction is a non MLS transaction in which the seller states the buyers agent will not be paid by the seller.
Q: What are the Professional Costs Associated with a Real Estate Transaction?
A: Most residential real estate transactions in Washington involve licensed real estate brokers, in which a buyers broker is paid 3% commission and sellers broker is paid 3% of a commission. These brokers are usually part of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in which MLS forms are used and the language in the forms are standard and required if listing a property on the MLS. Brokers are allowed to fill out the forms but not make changes to the forms. If you want additional services such as professional pictures, staging or upgrades to a property on a listing, these fee’s may be additional costs to consider.
If you hire an attorney as part of your transaction you will be able to have the attorney modify any standard MLS forms to secure additional contingencies in your offer or negotiations at no additional charge.
Q: Why Hire a Licensed Real Estate Broker who is Also a Practicing Lawyer?
A: (1) In this crazy hot Seattle market just about everything is going fairly quickly and you could list as a FSBO non MLS or submit through an MLS directory or hire a lawyer who is also a broker to list on MLS which will get picked up by Redfin, Trulia etc. My take is that most active buyers are on Redfin constantly checking houses so the MLS is becoming less necessary, especially in the Seattle market.
(2) You don’t need to list the property online as you already have a buyer lined up.
(3) A lawyer is better equipped to negotiate a short sale on your behalf should the need arise and deals need to be worked out with the bank as well as a buyer/seller so that the bank will accept less than they are owed if a property is underwater.
(4) A lawyer has much more education than a typical real estate broker and in essence you are getting the benefits of having your own lawyer on a transaction as well as an agent to review for what most people is the largest purchase/sale they will make. In fact a handful of lawyers or both licensed attorneys and brokers.
(5) Additional home tours, staging, videos etc. and the more traditional broker services can always be added to any transaction at cost or for a flat fee, although most basic transactions would not include these services.
(6) Richard Symmes has similar contacts of typical real estate agent in marketing and showing your property outside of what listing the property online would bring and has access to the EXP Realty network and technology to best assist you.
If you need assistance buying or selling real estate call a Seattle Real Estate Broker today at 206-682-7975 to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more.