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Why is it important to have an attorney when selling real property?

Our interests take precedence

Selling real property is a big deal. It can be one of the most stressful and rewarding decisions of your life; and the financial costs of having a competent attorney from JRQ & Associates at your side, as you navigate the transaction, is not as burdensome as you think. In fact, proceeding through closing without an attorney might cost you more in the long run in terms of future litigation costs—where it turns out that the purchase agreement did not comply with state law in some respect, or where it turns out that the purchase agreement included unconscionable terms.

Furthermore, it helps to have counsel present at closing where everyone else there has an interest. The broker has an interest in making sure the deal goes through. The real estate agent has an interest in receiving a commission from the sale of your home and other real property. The mortgage lender has an interest in receiving monthly payments from the buyer once the deal goes through. What separates a competent JRQ & Associates real estate attorney from the parties mentioned above is that he has your best interest in mind when he reviews the purchase agreement, researches the potential tax consequences for the sale of your property, and looks into title insurance on the real property you want to sell.

Reviewing the [Tentative] Purchase Agreement

If you plan to sell the real estate property then you should be familiar with one of the most important parts of the sale, the purchase agreement. Essentially, the purchase agreement is a contract between the buyer and seller that lays out the terms of the contract. It includes inter alia the address, price, the amount of down payment, the closing date, and items included and excluded in the sale of real property. The purchase agreement is tentative where the buyer and seller negotiate the terms of the contract. Sometimes the contract includes non-advantageous terms that you, the seller, might not even realize. The last thing you need is to realize too late! An attorney from JRQ & Associates can guide you through the purchase agreement and the preceding negotiations.

Ascertaining title

Sometimes title to real property is fuzzy; other times there are restrictions on your property that you did not know ever existed. As a seller, you must ensure that title is “good and marketable.” As a seller, you must also ensure the buyer that you will refrain from taking any action that will “burden or cloud title” to property and/or “interfere with the purchaser’s full use and enjoyment” of the property. These phrases may appear nonsensical but you might be surprised to know that over several decades courts have been tasked to interpret them. What “interference with the purchaser’s full use and enjoyment” meant in 1960 might not mean the same thing in 2016. These interpretations require analysis by a skilled attorney who can explain to you when these issues arise and how to avoid them.

Explaining tax consequences

If you are planning to sell real property, then one of the first questions you should ask yourself is whether it is a capital asset, non-capital asset, or a 1231 asset? If you are not sure what these terms mean and/or their tax consequences, it is time to consult with an attorney.

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