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For Sale By Owner

Real Estate Lawyers Serving Ocala

“For sale by owner” is the process of selling real estate without a realtor’s representation. It can be challenging to sell or buy a home by yourself. Often sellers and buyers also try to save money by not hiring an attorney to handle the sale. However, legal representation from an experienced Ocala real estate attorney can help if you are listing your home for sale by owner. At the Dean Law Firm, we can represent you in all aspects of a sale or purchase: we prepare purchase agreements, seek title insurance and loans, and handle real estate litigation.

For Sale by Owner

Generally, a Florida real estate agent is also known as a listing agent. The real estate agent takes responsibility for marketing and selling a property. Where the agent represents both the buyer and seller he is a transaction broker; he will help both the buyer and seller in a limited role.

However, it is also possible for a seller to follow a “for sale by owner” process. Sometimes buyers are cautious about properties that are for sale by owner. It is wise for both seller and buyer to retain experienced attorneys who understand the timeline and what should be built into the deal. Florida case law requires sellers to disclose known facts or conditions about their property that have a substantial impact on the property value that others can’t easily see. A seller will need to make certain disclosures, usually on a form, such as whether particular appliances need to be repaired, whether there are termites, whether there are structural problems, whether there are any defects in the cooling, heating, plumbing or electrical systems, and whether the property has high levels of radon or is part of a mandatory homeowners’ association.

Purchase and Sale Agreement

A real estate contract is also known as a purchase and sale agreement. Its purpose is to clearly articulate the terms and conditions of the sale between the parties. There are different contracts a seller could use that are not drafted specifically to the seller’s purpose. One is the Florida Bar form. Another is an as is residential contract. This is a contract that removes the seller’s duty to make repairs for any aspects of the property that aren’t in working condition or even for those damages that are existing and apparent. Usually the contract requires the buyer to perform inspections and conduct due diligence to understand the real estate’s condition. Where a form contract is used, the buyer may be able to negotiate to have the cost of specific repairs reduced.

It also possible to prepare a purchase and sale agreement tailored the parties’ specific needs. It is important for an attorney to review or assist with drafting this agreement. Certain clauses are especially important. It is critical to make sure the contract accurately states the amount financed and the balance that will be paid at a real estate closing. It is important, too, to make sure that any personal property that is included in the sale, such as fixtures, are listed specifically. The contract should include a financing contingency. For example, the buyer can specify that he or she must be approved for a loan in a certain sum and at a particular interest rate in order for the contract to be enforced. The purchase agreement should also specify a closing date. It may be important to include a contingency for inspections by a contractor or inspector.

The purchase and sale agreement should also specify whether the buyer or seller needs to secure a commitment for title insurance and how long a buyer would have to review the title insurance. Where a survey is provided by the seller, the contract needs to be clear about how long the buyer has to determine whether there are any problems with it. The seller should be required to give evidence of good and marketable title. Marketable title exists where the title is free and clear of liens and other defects.

A lawyer can also make sure that the real estate deed and any other required forms are properly filed. When a deed isn’t filed properly, the buyer or seller may face an excess in estate or income taxes. Similarly, any building permits must be closely reviewed and properly filed, or else the owners may face fines or may need to rebuild.

Consult a Skillful Real Estate Attorney in Ocala

It is possible to have a successful sale and purchase of a property that’s listed for sale by owner in Ocala, but it is wise to retain knowledgeable legal representation. We represent clients throughout Florida in The Villages and Crystal River, as well as Citrus, Lake, Sumter, Marion, Sumter, and Levy Counties in real estate and other matters. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us through our online form.