Sale with a Realtor
Although the Purchaser usually gets to select the settlement agent to handle the loan closing when he is buying a home, the Seller can elect to be represented by his own attorney in the transaction. If the Seller is represented by an attorney, the Purchaser’s settlement agent can only charge the Seller fees if they are agreed to by the Seller’s attorney. This arrangement is referred to as a “split settlement”. According to Virginia Legal Ethics Opinions (LEO 1742), title companies cannot represent Sellers in a settlement transaction.
If you are selling your home and wish to retain your own attorney, ZE is ready to provide this service. We can assist you on many different levels, from simple document review to accompanying you to settlement. This type of service is billed on an hourly basis.
Sale Without a Realtor (“for sale by owner” or “FSBO”)
If you want to sell your house on your own, without the help of a realtor, you may wish to retain an attorney to assist you in the process. At ZE, we have assisted with many “for sale by owner” transactions. We can prepare the contract and advise you in most other areas related to the transaction. If the settlement of your sale is done in this office, the contract preparation is included in the settlement fees and paid at closing.
If a potential Purchaser presents you with a contract, you should seek legal advice to make sure that the contract contains all of the disclosures that the Seller is required to make under Virginia law. Purchasers may not be bound by the contract if the required disclosures are not given. “For Sale by Owner” buyers and sellers are not authorized to use a realtor’s form contract as these are copyrighted. They also contain clauses that are not pertinent to a “for sale by owner” transaction.
If you are interested in doing a 1031 exchange (also knows as a “like kind exchange”) of an investment property, ZE can handle the transaction. We can also provide a list of companies that act as Qualified Intermediaries in such transactions. News Articles on 1031 Exchange