Use a Broker or Lawyer When Selling or Buying Real Estate?

one-way-street-95474_1280Which is the best choice for professional services when selling or buying a property? A broker? A lawyer? Both? None?

It depends …imagine that!

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules for which specialists to use when selling or buying a home or other real property. If a seller or buyer is very experienced in real estate matters, then it is possible to avoid using either professional if the transaction is fairly simple.  However in most instances, it pays to gain the professional advice of an experienced real estate broker or lawyer – and in many transactions, it will increase the value of the transaction to use both – two good heads are better than one!

At first, this may seem counter-intuitive, if not redundant.  But generally if there are any common pending or potential legal issues surrounding the property e.g. a pending divorce of the owners, boundary overlaps, zoning or building violations, structural problems, contractor liens, other title problems, homeowner association conflicts, financial problems, etc., then a lawyer who has experience in a variety of real estate and financial matters will definitely lend a valuable perspective in the navigation of the transaction. The lawyer needn’t supplant the broker, but supplement his or her efforts to protect and fulfill the goals of the client.

When these types of issues are absent or a property lacks physical exposure or willing parties to negotiate, then a real estate broker will often provide the best value for marketing the property, determining a range for reasonable market values, structuring and finalizing the transaction.

However when property evaluation and marketing are not needed, whether in a “for sale by owner” situation or in a sale between friends or family members, then a real estate lawyer can provide excellent value and potentially save the client thousands of dollars in commissions in negotiating, structuring and finalizing the transaction.

Note: The views expressed are solely the opinion of the author.
Image source: Pixabay – CC0 Public Domain.

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