A real estate agent and title officer may be all you need to walk through the process of selling your Florida home. However, real estate transactions are cumbersome to navigate. Pages of reports, disclosures, and contracts can unsettle the best of us, often making it a wise choice to engage legal counsel when selling your home.
So, how do you know who to hire? And, do you find yourself questioning, “Should I hire a real estate attorney to sell my Florida home?” Let’s examine circumstances that support hiring a Florida real estate attorney when selling your Florida home.
6 Reasons Why Real Estate Attorneys Make Sense for a Seller
1. Problem Properties
Do you, as the seller, have information about the property that is cause for concern, such as unpermitted improvements, structural, or land issues? Are you considering selling your home “As-Is”? Failing to fully and honestly disclose potential or known problems could expose a seller to future liabilities. An experienced real estate lawyer will guide you regarding legal disclosures and how to minimize exposure against future lawsuits.
2. Encumbrances on the Property
Is the property subject to a lien or burdened by judgments?
Understanding the impact of liens and judgments requires legal advice about how those items will impact the sale of the property. Liens and judgments against a property can be a roadblock when selling your home. However, there may be ways to maneuver a sale despite a lien or judgment. An experienced real estate lawyer is your best resource in these matters.
3. Disagreement with a Co-owner
Are you in a contentious relationship with the property’s co-owner?
Seasoned real estate lawyers may be able to mediate a solution between contentious parties interested in moving a sale forward. If not, they may advise you to take action under Florida’s Partition Law.
The Florida Partition Law is used to solve problems caused by shared ownership of real estate, gifts between unmarried couples, or Homestead Property.
4. Selling a Home in Trust or Subject to Probate
Trusts and probate proceedings require special handling of real estate transactions. The property beneficiaries may not agree regarding the sale or may not understand how a sale will impact the estate being managed. Florida real estate lawyers can advise heirs regarding the sale, its impact, and how to navigate the sale of a property in the context of trust law and probate proceedings.
5. Tenant Occupied Properties
If you are selling a tenant-occupied home or building, you must be very careful to observe Florida’s tenant/landlord laws.
Seeking counsel from a Florida real estate attorney versed in tenant/landlord law is crucial. Issues such as advance paid rents, security deposits, evictions, and claims against the property owner must be managed appropriately to avoid future liabilities for both the property seller and the new owner.
6. Contract and Document Review
Florida’s real estate transaction documents are numerous, including seller agreements, disclosures, inspection reports, and title and escrow documents. A skilled real estate attorney will help you understand what documents and costs are required at closing and what they mean to you. What documents should be executed? What fees and costs are necessary? What protections are afforded to the seller and buyers under the closing documents? How will funding take place? What happens if the buyer defaults on their obligations and timelines?
Hiring a Florida Real Estate Lawyer
The largest financial transaction most people make in their lifetime is the purchase or sale of a home. In this respect, it makes sense to surround oneself with strong advisors versed in real estate transactions and applicable laws.
Knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel will ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities under Florida’s real estate laws and work toward a seamless transaction to benefit both sellers and buyers.
If you are selling your Florida home, contact our office today to speak with a reputable Florida real estate attorney.