There are three critical steps a homeowner should not overlook when selling a home in Florida says Eric Lanigan, attorney with Lanigan and Lanigan in Winter Park.
Once you have made the decision to sell your home, it is easy to get caught up in a flurry of activity involved in putting your house on the market. Before you get caught up in all the excitement, a homeowner should not overlook three very important steps.
1. Hire an experienced and licensed realtor
A licensed realtor will guide you through the paperwork, help you determine the value of your home and be your intermediary in negotiating the sale of your property. It is also important to know whom your realtor represents. If your realtor is representing both the buyer and the seller, are you comfortable with being fully protected in the sale?
If you are considering For Sale by Owner, think twice. Do you know the laws? Are you familiar with the laws concerning the transfer of property in Florida? Do you have the negotiation skills necessary to finalize a contract and see the sale through to closing?
2. Hire a real estate attorney
The sale of your home involves a legal and binding contract. Many people wouldn’t sign any type of contract without the advice of an attorney; however, everyday people buy a home without having an attorney review the contracts and the closing documents prior to finalizing the sale.
A real estate attorney is knowledgeable in contract law and can spot pitfalls before it is too late. They are familiar with issues surrounding the title search, liens against the property, or easement and right-of-way questions. These are all issues you should address before closing.
3. Fully disclose all known issues with the property
It is critical that the owner fully disclose all known defects within the home. Florida law requires this disclosure and the failure to disclose known defects is one of the most common reasons sellers of real estate end up in court after the sale. Keep in mind a home inspection can only detect certain problems. If you have knowledge of a problem hidden from the eye, it is important to include it on the disclosure.
Have your attorney review the disclosure form when you have questions about what the seller’s disclosure, even if the defect has been corrected. If you had a defect repaired, an attorney can help you with the disclosure language explaining the defect and the steps taken to resolve the issue.
It is very important that there is honesty and straightforward action in the sale and throughout the inspection and closing process. This is something that relies upon the integrity of the realtor, who you will hope has an honest inspector; not one who is fearful of providing bad information to a realtor.
“It doesn’t mean the sale doesn’t happen, it means there are things that the buyer and the seller need to address before that sale is finally consummated,” Eric Lanigan said.
“If you are planning to buy or sell a home in Florida, consider these three steps upfront to protect yourself and your investment. Buying a home has always been part of the American dream. Protect that dream by consulting with licensed professionals and a qualified real estate attorney to see you through the process.”
Lanigan and Lanigan. Experienced attorneys, aggressive representation with a personal touch.