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Why hire an attorney for fsbo home sales

Posted on April 1, 2020

For most people, a home is the biggest ticket item they’ll ever sell. While most people choose to work with a listing agent, some people choose to sell their homes themselves. Whether the reason is to avoid the cost of a listing agent’s commission or to have control over the marketing and the negotiations, the choice to sell a home without an agent is one wrought with legal risks.

Selling a home FSBO has become more difficult as real estate transactions have grown in complexity overall. It’s not as simple as just putting a “For Sale By Owner” sign in your yard and paying some low fee to a brokerage to get it listed on the multiple listing service (MLS).

Now, a seller who does not seek legal counsel from an experienced real estate attorney is at risk of legal troubles. All it takes are some mistakes or omissions to cause major issues for which you can potentially be liable.

Hiring a trusted real estate attorney can help you, and here’s how:

Attorneys Handle the Paperwork

A sale of a home comes with a lot of paperwork filled with legal jargon and language that takes the average person significant time to decipher. An attorney can guide you through this paperwork and ensure you’re complying with state law.

Attorneys Prepare the Contract

Have you ever prepared a contract before? Most people haven’t. And even if they have, most people aren’t familiar with preparing contracts specifically around home sales. Unfortunately, the consequences of not understanding a home sale contract can be dire– particularly if you’re unprotected when a purchaser doesn’t follow through.

An attorney helps negotiate the terms and prepares the contract for you and ensures the protection of your interests. So even if a purchaser pulls out of an agreement, your attorney has secured you suitable remedies.

Attorneys Work with the Other Parties Involved

There are many parties involved in the sale of a home– buyer, seller, real estate agent, home inspection company, contractors, appraisers, and sometimes banks. An attorney deals with these other parties, which is especially important when the buyer is working with an agent or attorney themselves. Additionally, in the case that a buyer defaults, an attorney can help you enforce the terms of the purchase agreement.

Attorneys Help You through Unique Circumstances

When a home seller finds themselves in unique circumstances such as having liens on the property, easements, illegal additions or renovations on the property, or working with a disagreeable co-owner, it’s imperative to hire an attorney. Without an attorney to guide you through unique circumstances, there is surely legal trouble ahead.

It’s Highly Recommended to Work with an Attorney

You’re under no obligation to use an agent to sell your home or even represent you in the buying process. But with the absence of an agent in the process, it is more strongly recommended to hire legal representation.

You may not need guidance a real estate agent provides with marketing and negotiating, but you do need guidance with the legal requirements. Agents are not allowed to give legal advice, so even with a real estate agent, it’s wise to hire a lawyer.


Avoid legal issues and navigate through the sales process with your best interest in mind by hiring a real estate attorney. If you’re thinking of selling a home FSBO, contact an experienced attorney as early in the real estate transaction process as you can so your attorney can review the documents to provide you with the best legal advice.

TDD Attorneys at Law can help you sell your home FSBO in St. Louis. Contact us today for an initial consultation with a lawyer.