Selling your home is one of the biggest financial endeavors you’ll ever undertake. Your home is most likely the largest investment you’ll ever make, and the most significant part of your personal wealth and credit. With so much riding on such a large expense, there are plenty of chances for problems to arise or people to try to take advantage of you. To protect you, the state of South Carolina requires that all real estate transactions involve a real estate lawyer.
Since you are required to have an attorney present at a home sale or purchase, you should use this opportunity to have the lawyer help you. Lawyers are your partners, and they can ensure that your money, credit and home are protected. A South Carolina real estate lawyer can help you through the following key steps of selling your home:
- Listing the House for Sale – You may decide to sell your home on your own or work with a real estate agent. If you sign with an agent, they may ask for exclusive listings or other binding contracts. They’ll also help you determine how to describe your home and the list price. Consult your lawyer to review contracts to make sure your agent has your best interests in mind.
- Search and Clear Title – It may seem obvious, but to sell your home, you first have to prove that you own it without restrictions. Searching for title with the state can be a simple process, but if a previous homeowner died, you inherited a home, you defaulted on a loan, or you are in a disputed divorce, having a clear title can become more difficult. A lawyer will work with the state and help you through any necessary steps you need to take to secure a clear title on your home.
- Preparing Disclosure Forms – In South Carolina, all sellers have to complete disclosure forms, which tell any potential buyers about problems in the home, like electrical issues, structural weaknesses or mold. As a seller, you can end up in serious legal trouble for not disclosing major issues, so speak with your lawyer to understand what you need to list.
- Negotiating Purchase Offers – Odds are, buyers are going to come in with a price offer below what you asked, or they may request significant repairs. The process of pushing back on offers and considering others can go on for a while and can be complicated and sensitive. Speak with a real estate lawyer to help decide when to accept and when to push back.
- Handling Complications – The process of selling a home can have its ups and downs. An inspection may go poorly, zoning issues could arise, or buyers may back out – even after signing contracts. A lawyer will ensure that you are best protected against major issues and have a way out that’s in your best interest.
- Completing Closing Paperwork – Congratulations – you’ve settled on an offer and a buyer, and you’re ready to sign over your house. This process entails a lot of paperwork, and might include paying fees, closing costs and taxes. If you haven’t yet used a lawyer in the process, you’ll be required to at this point. With so many forms to sign, you’ll appreciate having an experienced real estate lawyer to walk you through each one so you feel confident in signing your name.
In short, your lawyer is a partner in a complicated process. The experienced real estate lawyers of Hyde Law Firm are here to walk you through the process of closing on your home. Contact our real estate lawyers today.