When it makes sense to hire a lawyer, instead of a real estate agent, when buying or selling a house
For most people purchasing or selling a home in the state of Washington, hiring an agent makes a lot of sense. For a seller, a listing agent will market your home, seek out the best price and advise you on the offers you receive. For a buyer, an agent will put in the work to find you a home within your budget, in the area you want, and help prepare a competitive offer if necessary. However, for a lot of people buying or selling a house, an agent is expensive and unnecessary. Hiring an experienced real estate lawyer to handle the purchase and sale of a residential home may be the way to go.
In the standard residential real estate transaction here in Washington, the listing agent and buyer’s agent each split what is typically a 6% total commission. That means 6% of the purchase price goes from the seller’s pocket to the agents’ pockets. For example, on an $800,000.00 home, 6% would be $48,000.00. $24,000.00 to the listing agent and the same to the buyer’s agent.
However, if you are a buyer or seller who has negotiated a deal outside the confines of the traditional MLS marketplace, there is no sense in spending so much money on agents just to put together a purchase and sale agreement. As experienced real estate attorneys who have worked on hundreds of residential real estate transactions, we charge a flat fee of $1,250.00 to draft a residential purchase and sale agreement along with all accompanying documents, and we stick with you to answer any and all questions and offer advice from the moment we put the purchase and sale agreement together, through closing.
Most of the clients we work with in this regard are part of a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) deal with no agents involved. However, we often also advise clients even when agents are involved, as some clients feel an extra level of comfort after having an attorney review the contract they are about to sign. Whether an agent is involved or not, if you’re interested in hearing more about the benefits of hiring an attorney to assist in your home sale or purchase, give us a call.