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How to protect a real estate transaction

Most people in Pennsylvania would not hesitate to hire a lawyer for a business transaction that was in the hundred-thousand-dollar range. However, not everybody decides to look for legal representation when the same amount of money is at stake in real estate purchases.

One possible explanation for this is that trained agents are there to advise home sellers and buyers. However, it is not uncommon for these agents themselves to be party to a real estate transaction dispute.

As explained on The Balance, one of the most common disagreements in real estate has to do with procuring cause of a sale. In plain terms, this is the idea that the agent who coordinates a closed deal for a buyer deserves the buyer's commission associated with the sale. One way that home buyers might avoid conflict on this point is by signing a representation contract with agents. Unfortunately, the standard contracts may not fully delineate all of the necessary duties and responsibilities of all of the parties involved.

FindLaw goes through some of the other potential pitfalls associated with buying and selling a home. There is significant potential for legal action surrounding:

  • Home inspection
  • Title and deed
  • Closing and financing
  • Purchase agreement

With the amount of money involved and the potential for dispute, legal advice and custom written contracts are typically just as important for real estate matters as they are for small business transactions. For investors or others who depend on a low average transaction cost to meet their goals, this level of attention to detail has the potential to be even more essential. However, there is sometimes no need for a custom contract: As mentioned on the FindLaw resource, even a legal consultation and minor research may be enough to provide enough context and analysis for a sale.

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