Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer or a Real Estate Agent for Your Home Transaction?

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Buying or selling a home requires professional assistance. Many individuals in this situation are unsure whether they should rely on the services of a real estate attorney or a real estate agent. Explore these considerations to choose the right partner for your residential real estate transaction.

Buying a Home

The home buying journey starts with your offer to purchase, which states, among other things, the price you will pay for the home if accepted by the seller.  If accepted, the real estate transaction proceeds towards Closing per the terms in the offer to purchase.  If the offer is not accepted by the seller, the next step may be contract negotiation. Without an attorney, the seller may propose one or more changes to the offer that you don’t understand or which have a profound impact on your legal rights.  If you have questions regarding your rights, an offer, or counter-offer, contact one of our licensed real estate lawyers.
 
Once you have an accepted offer with a home inspection contingency, the inspection may reveal defects with the property, which could impact the price you are willing to pay for the home. In this instance, your real estate attorney can step in to help you negotiate a new purchase price, other contingencies based on the condition of the property, or assist you in backing out of the home purchase, if the offer allows.

Selling a Home

If you hire a Wisconsin real estate agent to sell your home, he or she will receive 4 to 6% of the purchase price. Many sellers opt to avoid paying this substantial fee by going the for sale by owner (FSBO) route. They can often save by hiring a real estate attorney, who charges substantially less, to prepare FSBO paperwork instead of working with a real estate agent, who manages the process and provides marketing services, but cannot provide legal advice.
 
When selling a home, your real estate attorney can help you fulfill contingencies, draft necessary legal paperwork, review and negotiate offers and counteroffers, and provide advice about title company requirements relating to the transaction. Although the real estate agent may help with these steps, they don’t necessarily have your best legal interests in mind, since their getting paid is contingent upon the real estate transaction closing.  
 
The bottom line? When buying or selling a home, you need the legal guidance you can receive only from a licensed Wisconsin real estate lawyer. In Waukesha County and surrounding areas, consult the experienced team at Walden Neitzke & Kuhary, S.C. for assistance with your real estate transaction.