Buying or selling a home is likely one of the most important financial decisions you will make. There is nothing in the law that prevents you from buying or selling your residence on your own. However, most sellers and buyers employ the services of real estate brokers and lawyers to help them navigate through the complex, and frequently confusing, world of real estate transactions.
A real estate broker is a person who helps you buy or sell your home. Both a buyer and seller of residential real estate can benefit from a broker. Examples of how having a broker can be beneficial include:
A listing agreement is a contract between you and the broker that creates the obligations and rights of the business arrangement. It is wise to consult with an attorney before signing any legal document or contract. in order to make sure that your interests are represented and protected. The listing agreement usually provides:
The seller is usually required to make specific disclosures about the property to potential buyers. These include:
An encumbrance on the property is something that may prevent a buyer from taking the legal title or possession of the property. They can include easements, encroachments, and other kinds of boundary and title disputes. Most encumbrances are recorded at the county recorder's office.
Sometimes, a piece of property can be sold subject to a mortgage or other financial lien. A buyer can check whether a piece of property has a lien or mortgage by doing a title search through the county recorder's office. If you do not want to check yourself, a title insurance company can check for you and inform you of any such encumbrances on the property.
A buyer may not have enough cash up front to pay the entire purchase price for a piece of property. In this type of situation, a financial institution may be able to lend the buyer the purchase money in exchange for attaching a mortgage to the property.
A real estate attorney can guide you through the process and help you negotiate a deal that is right for you. An attorney will also review listing agreements with brokers, offers, and purchase contracts before you sign them to make certain that your requests are met. Finally, a real estate attorney can advise you on financing the house of your dreams.
Last Modified: 08-25-2014 05:42 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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