Why work with a REALTOR, and when to use a Real Estate Lawyer

Deciding whether to buy or sell a home is a significant and costly decision involving many necessary steps that require coordination, preparation and careful consideration.

A Realtor will help you understand the process and eliminate the risk of incorrect or incomplete documentation. It is essential to make your real estate transaction a seamless and positive experience without surprises. Drafting your own real estate contract poses a significant risk to the buyer or seller.

For assistance, contact Logan Henry, a San Diego County Realtor with Coldwell Banker Realty, at 858-945-7957 or team@henryreg.com.

San Diego real estate contracts: how a Realtor can help

Examples of risks inherent to those who draft a California real estate contract without the benefit of an experienced realtor are that they may not be aware of market conditions, liens against the property, easements, structural defects, environmental hazards, and HOA requirements.

A realtor can help you identify potential problems with the property that may require repairs or building code compliance once the property is sold. If you ignore these potential risks, you expose yourself to costs such as repairing the property to code — or facing legal hazards or even potential fraud. Real estate disputes can be avoided if the parties adequately disclose and document known material defects and environmental conditions that would affect a reasonable buyer’s decision of whether to purchase the property.

Using a licensed REALTOR can be the easiest way to protect yourself from any unforeseen yet potentially expensive mistakes.

A realtor knows the local market, pre-conditions to a successful closing, and will have a pre-existing professional relationship with other realtors. This could benefit you when you are negotiating the purchase price of the property and any adjustments to the purchase price, such as repair credits or market conditions that could be used to reduce the purchase price for a buyer or improve the selling price for a seller.

A realtor typically uses a network of professionals regularly. They know how long a bank will take on average to close on your transaction and whether any insurance requirements exist for funding the transaction. This will give you a better estimate of the conditions, needs, and time estimate when the sale will close.

The potential buyer/seller should consider all these factors when deciding whether to forego using a real estate professional and exposing themselves to the risk of inadequately handling a Real Estate transaction.

Do I need a real estate attorney in California?

In California, most transactions will close without significant attorney involvement. However, in some cases, you would be wise to consult an attorney if any of the following issues arise:

1) Liens, Judgments, and Title Defects

In some cases, a seller may have sold a property subject to a lien, such as a judgment lien from a court or a mechanic’s lien from a contractor. In addition, in some cases, certain liens may be missed, improperly recorded, or otherwise made without proper notice to the buyer. A bona fide purchaser who buys real estate at a fair market value will typically be protected against such claims. Still, if litigation is filed or threatened against you, you must consult with a California lawyer as soon as possible. Call Gallagher Krich APC to speak to one of our real estate lawyers at (858) 926-5797 or email us at info(at)tomgallagherlaw.com. We offer free initial consultations.

2) Serious structural defects

Significant structural problems with real estate must be disclosed under California law. If you are selling property, it is in your best interest to ensure that a qualified home inspector is retained and that all mandatory California real estate disclosures are correctly completed. The best way to ensure this is done is to work with a realtor. If the transaction was completed without licensed real estate professionals and problems arise, you should call Gallagher Krich APC to speak to one of our real estate lawyers at (858) 926-5797.

3) Specific performance

In some circumstances, a seller may refuse to complete the transaction. In such cases, you may be able to force the seller to complete the transaction once an offer has been accepted. If you encounter any difficulty completing a sale, contact our law office today at (858) 926-5797.

Tom Gallagher is a licensed California attorney and a partner at Gallagher Krich, APC, a law firm in San Diego, California. Mr. Gallagher has extensive litigation experience of over 15 years in private practice as a litigator and transactional attorney. In addition, Tom enjoys spending time with his young family, golfing, surfing, and cooking. Call Gallagher Krich APC at (858) 926-5797 if you have any legal questions.

Logan Henry is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Logan began his career in Real Estate on the servicing side of the business, working for the banks directly where he would assist homeowners with repayment plans, loan modifications and short sales. After excelling for several years, he changed pace and became a REO Asset Manager. From gaining the knowledge and enjoyment of working with a large network of Real Estate agents, it was during this time he became very passionate and intrigued by the idea of selling Real Estate.

With the experience and the understanding of the consumer’s needs as well as the knowledge acquired over the last two decades, Logan moved to Residential Real Estate, joined Coldwell Banker Realty, and has since started his own Real Estate Group, where he has since helped hundreds of families buy or sell in San Diego County.

NEW: introducing our Flat Fee Case Evaluation service for California clients.