FSBO -- What's next after agreement to purchase

stir_fryiDecember 10, 2012

Parents are selling a condo vacation home. Currently not under contract with any realtor (procurring cause has also expired).

They have an interested party and have agreed to a purchase price.

What now??? I think the best bet would be to hire a title attorney to handle a purchase agreement and the closing. Question is -- do my parents secure the attorney or does the buyer? It makes no sense to me for both of them to hire an attorney when they are in agreement on the purchase price, date and closing costs.

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As they are FSBO - it is best they hire their own real estate attorney to protect and consult them through the transaction. There are multiple things that can surface like bad inspection, appraisal isn't high enough or buyer can't close on loan. And you probably want someone to hold the deposit for the duration of the transaction so I would strongly urge them to find an attorney (probably way cheaper vs. paying commission to a RE Agent) who can probably take care of the entire transaction in 8 total hours.

I don't know FL tremendously but possible a title company can do it for you.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Actually the buyer is all cash so no appraisal or loan. I guess my question is really can an attorney take care of everything for both of them (split his costs)? Also, would a title attorney or "closing" attorney handle the figuring out who owes who as far as taxes and association fees that have already been paid??

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:50PM
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An attorney can take care of things. I'd advise you to get 2 attorneys. Only one needs to draft the purchase agreement, but one needs to protect the seller's interest and one needs to protect the buyer's interest.

When we sold a FSBO, we agreed on the terms, then the buyer's attorney drafted a purchase agreement with inspection and financing contingencies. My attorney suggested a couple tweaks to the contingency language (putting deadlines on them and clarifying what allowed them to get out of the contract). With a cash buyer, once this is done, their attorney would guide them through the rest of the paperwork including the HUD statement (the money stuff) and title work, and your parents' attorney would just review what came their way to make sure it was reasonable.

The 2nd attorney doesn't add that much cost in the scheme of things (I think ours was $600 total), and to me it would be worth it to make sure your interests are protected.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:49PM
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While a single attorney CAN do that, most don't like to. Should anything come up during or after, the attorney wants to be responsible for only 1 party; not both. And, many attorneys, when presented with 2 parties for 1 transaction, will refer one party out (of office, or to another attorney within the same larger office).

This topic has come up before.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Only one attorney handles closings here in NC. Usually the buyer chooses the attorney and pays for it.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:46PM
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I might add that the buyers and sellers whom I referenced above use one attorney, but their interests are being looked out for by each agent. FSBO buyera and sellers should probably each get representation.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:01AM
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I recently went through a very similar situation. Sold my own house, FSBO. Agreed on a purchase price with the sellers, all seemed fine. But you would be surprised the number of things that can pop up even in what feels like such a done deal.

Our attorney wouldn't handle the sale without the buyers having their own attorney. In the end, I understood why. Even though our sale was pretty smooth - the buyers were really nice, reasonable people - there were a few negotiation points where one attorney could not have represented both parties well.

Same thing when we bought some land a few years ago. What can go wrong in a land sale, right? Well, again - there were a few negotiation points that didn't come up until right before closing - and again, one attorney can't represent two competing interests - even if the "competing" interests are on friendly terms with each other.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:03PM
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They actually do not have anything since all contracts for real estate must be in writing.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 3:52PM
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I agree with the others -- two attorneys. My experience is that they were not very expensive,

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:25PM
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