Spring has finally arrived and sales of homes are picking up. Most homeowners opt to list their homes with a realtor. The commission due to a realtor on the sale of a home is generally seven percent (7%) of the sales price. This can be a significant expense. For example, the 7 percent commission on the sale of a $250,000.00 home is $17,500.00.

home sales by owner des moines real estate lawyerAnother option is to list your home for sale by yourself and to retain an attorney to assist you with the sale. The attorney can assist by preparing the various disclosures which are required to be provided to the buyer before the buyer submits an offer to purchase the home. The attorney can also assist in reviewing the buyer’s offer or in drafting an offer if the buyer does not have access to an Offer form. It is the Seller’s obligation to decide how to advertise the home, to show the property to prospective buyers, and to decide at what price to list the home. The attorney can assist in having the property appraised if the seller is unsure of the fair market value.

After the offer has been accepted by the seller, a copy will be provided to the buyer’s bank along with the abstract to the property. The abstract will be updated and reviewed by the bank’s attorney to make sure the seller has mercantile title. If any title problems arise, the seller’s attorney will address and resolve the title problems. Typically, the bank will close the sale and the seller’s attorney drafts the deed and other related conveyance documents to transfer the house to the buyer. The seller’s attorney will also review and approve the closing statement. If the buyer’s bank will not close the sale, the seller’s attorney can assist by closing the sale.

The advantage to using an attorney is that the attorney will be paid on an hourly basis as opposed to a commission. In most cases, the homeowner will realize a significant increase in the amount of proceeds when the homeowners sell the property by themselves.

If the homeowners aren’t successful in selling the property by themselves, they can always list it with a realtor in the future.
Some of the factors that will affect the probability of the successful sale by owner is the location of the property, the condition of the property, a realistic listing price, the overall condition of the economy and of the local real estate market, and the current interest rates.

If you are interested in attempting to sell your home by yourself, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.

— by James D. Beatty