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Do 'for sale by owner" closings need an attorney?

Although realtors generally only earn a small commission on the sale of their clients' homes, many financially savvy homeowners set out to try to sell their homes themselves to save some money. What many Georgians who pursue the "for sale by owner" option don't realize is that they can't handle every aspect of the home selling process by themselves. Georgia law requires residents to have an attorney oversee their closing.

Many Augusta homeowners hire a realtor to handle the marketing of their homes and to help them in negotiating the terms of the sale. While you may not need a real estate agent's assistance in marketing, you may still need someone to help with the negotiation process with your potential buyer. A real estate closing attorney who's emotionally unattached to the home can handle this process for you.

An experienced lawyer will make sure that you use a legally-binding sales contract that protects your interests. They'll know what steps you need to take to lawfully transfer your home before turning it over to the new homeowner.

Your attorney may have to set up an escrow account or order a title search on your property or have liens or easements removed before transferring your house to a new homeowner. They may also need to negotiate repairs with your buyer on your behalf after an inspection or an appraisal.

There are many documents that you must compile and have a prospective homeowner sign off on as part of the real estate closing process. Georgia law requires an attorney to be present in most instances to ensure that you carry this process out correctly.

One of the worst things that can happen when you intend to sell your Augusta home is for sale to fall through. A residential real estate closings attorney can help you negotiate the terms of your sales agreement and walk you through the other steps in the process until you complete the final transfer of your home to its new owner.

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