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You’ll save a lot of cash by selling your home without an agent. There are aspects of the agent’s job that you can easily shoulder on your own, but there are others that you simply can’t. If you’re not a professional photographer, you’ll need to hire one. And, you’ll need an attorney before closing to review contracts before you close.

Sure, you can work with standard forms, but you really don’t want to skimp on a service that protects you legally now… and in the future.

Some States Require You to Have an Attorney

Some states require a lawyer to be present at closing, but, fortunately, Pennsylvania isn’t one of them. Title companies or real estate agents may all handle the close.

While an attorney may seem like an unnecessary expense, the law is designed to ensure there aren’t any issues later on down the road, so even though an attorney isn’t mandated, hiring one is something you should strongly consider.

There’s often a lot more than a cursory glance involved in an attorney’s review of a contract. It’s an opportunity to protect yourself financially and legally in one of the biggest transactions you’ll ever make. Many lawyers provide FSBO sellers with flat fee services that won’t break the bank – and you can choose someone you’re comfortable with; they aren’t assigned.

What Services Should You Expect from Your Attorney

Every real estate deal is different, and your attorney will be able to advise you on the services you require based on the complexity of the sale. But, you can expect yours to offer some if not all of these services:

  • Advice on your rights, obligation, tax implications, and any personal liability you may have accepted. Should changes be required, the effects will also be explained.
  • Reviewing and/or drafting deeds, addendums, promissory notes and anything else that carries legal and/or financial responsibility between the parties.
  • Assistance with legal questions relating to the offer to purchase or verbal promises made by either party.
  • Determining when all the closing instructions are properly met, and ensuring that you meet your obligations in this matter. Delays become unlikely when an attorney manages the process.
  • Providing you with an understanding of all your rights and duties in clear, everyday language so you don’t misinterpret legal jargon.
  • And finally, remaining present throughout the closing process so you know what to expect at every stage.

You can call an attorney at any step in the sales process, including the closing stages. But, your best bet, especially as a FSBO seller, is to bring an attorney on board as soon as you accept an offer to purchase. Indeed, you may want to have an attorney review that too.