Selling Your Home? Here are the Top 4 Legal Mistakes to Avoid

When you’re selling your home, there’s a lot of factors to think about. If you’re selling it yourself, you’re doing the marketing and advertising, not to mention the cleaning and the tours. With so much to think about, it can be really easy to make mistakes or let things fall through the cracks. Make sure not to make these four common legal mistakes that sellers make.

Mistake #1: Not Getting Everything in Writing

No negotiations about the sale of your house should happen verbally. Anyone who is serious about the purchase of your house should submit an offer in writing. Consult with your real estate attorney to make sure that all offers and counter-offers are legally binding documents. This ensures that both the buyer and the seller are clear about what is being sold and at what price.

Mistake #2: Agreeing to a Reduced Earnest Money Deposit

Yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what the right amount of earnest money is. Many think that it’s 3-5%. No matter what percentage you choose, you’re trying to find the right amount so that the purchaser won’t walk away from the purchase of your house.

The earnest money is the buyer’s way of telling you how serious they are about buying your house. After all, you only want to spend time with people who are serious about buying. A real estate lawyer can help you determine and negotiate the earnest money percentage, as well as help conduct transactions with interested buyers.

Mistake #3: Having Incomplete Information in the Sales Agreement

You must make sure that you use the complete legal description of your home in any sales paperwork. An experienced San Diego real estate attorney can help you with this. The legal description of the home is frequently found on your property taxes. The description offers exact verbiage and reference points about your home.

It’s also this description, not your home address, that is recognized by the government and lenders. So, make sure that all your sales paperwork reflects the exact verbiage of the description of your home as stated on your property taxes.

Mistake #4: Not Getting Help

If you are selling your home, particularly if you are selling your house on your own, you need to have help from an experienced San Diego real estate attorney like Kevin Forrester. An attorney can help you ensure that your entire sales transaction is legally enforceable and is as efficient as possible.

Before you get too far into your process of selling your home, contact us! If you are in the San Diego area and have any real estate questions, give our firm a call at (760) 932-0999.


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