It’s an old adage that if you want something done right, you do it yourself. But DIY comes with its own set of pros and cons, and each should be weighed carefully.
When it comes to selling real estate yourself, the cons can include liability risks. Often such risks are unintentional oversights, but it doesn’t change the consequences. Working with a REALTOR® can help reduce these risks.
One example is using a poor choice of wording on property descriptions when advertising your home for sale. Overstating or glossing over features can lead to trouble, but a REALTOR® has the training and experience to identify what features of your home should be emphasized in a description and how. For example, stating that a property has a "new roof" or has been "completely renovated" without providing further details is dangerous. What might be "new" to you may not be new to another person, and if they have issues with the roof later on down the road and find out it was two years old when they purchased the house, they could initiate a lawsuit.
REALTORS® are also familiar with the forms, information and documentation that are standards in a real estate transaction. If you are selling privately and the buyer asks for certain details about the property in writing or verbally, a lack of understanding in how to provide these details can mean a potential lawsuit for a seller. This lack of understanding may even delay the transaction or fail to close a deal. A REALTORS®’ knowledge and ability to help sellers understand legal documents and how to provide accurate and detailed information about the property can help reduce sellers’ liability risks.
Naturally, successful DIY transactions are possible in the real estate industry. But sellers who choose to go this route must take time to educate themselves on the potential liability risks so as to avoid them. This risk of liability doesn’t end when the property has been turned over to the new buyers — they can comes years after, when a buyer has an issue with the property and feels the sellers are to blame.
Since no real estate transaction is the same, the ongoing education REALTORS® undergo assists them in determining what needs to be done in order to close the transaction successfully, and reduce the risk of liability for their clients. This peace of mind is priceless when it comes to the biggest purchase, or sale, that you will make in your lifetime.
Reducing liability risk is just one important quality of a good REALTOR®. Talk to a real estate professional in your area to see how that skill can work for you.