> Discuss Your Legal Issue > Ask a Lawyer > Real Estate > Hi. I'm planning on selling my house by owner. I'm just wondering if I need a lawyer only for closing or do I need one through the whole process.

Hi. I'm planning on selling my house by owner. I'm just wondering if I need a lawyer only for closing or do I need one through the whole process.

1 Answers. Asked on Apr 18th, 2017 on Real Estate - Pennsylvania
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Answered on Apr 19th, 2017 at 6:57 AM

Congrats on deciding to sell your own home.  The process of putting your house on the market to getting it closed has many pitfalls that can derail your deal.  People who choose to sell their own property are in a better position to control the transaction than are those who sell through a realtor.  Realtors often control the transaction with their own title companies thus taking the deal out of your hands.  An atorney can help you better control the deal, keep you “in the loop” along the way and ensure that your interests are best served.  An attorney can 1) help prepare the required property disclosure statement; 2) prepare or review a purchase agreement; 3) give you tips on gathering documents and info that might be needed by buyers and their lenders during the sale process; 4)  hold deposit money; 5) prepare the deed (that's customarily the seller's duty); and 6) review the settlement statement.  In short, an attorney can help facilitate the deal and give you great perspective and advice through the process. 


I recommend that you seek out a local attorney for a more in depth discussion of the matter. I do not recommend that you take any action steps without such a consult. Act quickly because by waiting, you may lose certain rights and remedies available to you.

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Real Estate
Real estate attorneys can help individuals, families and small business with all property-related legal issues. Buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate should work with an attorney to negotiate the terms of agreement; draft and review the contract; review related paperwork (such as loan agreements); clear existing liens on a property; and attend the closing. Lawyers can also assist property owners with addressing zoning/rezoning issues and appealing property tax assessment. Landlords and tenants should work with real estate law firms to draft and review lease agreement, handle eviction proceedings and resolve landlord-tenant disputes.
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