Author Topic: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?  (Read 2464 times)

geekette

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Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« on: January 18, 2016, 11:35:09 AM »
My DH and his sister are selling their late dad's house to their cousin. She's lived there for close to a year, and is now in the position to buy (she has a pre approval letter from the bank).

The letter from the bank just says she needs a purchase agreement signed by all parties. Do we need a lawyer? 

Cathy

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 12:28:40 PM »
If you are asking this question, then yes, you need a lawyer to help with your real estate transaction.

For starters, generally speaking, in North Carolina, a "purchase agreement" does not effect the actual transfer of title to real estate. Typically in a purchase agreement, the seller will promise to execute and deliver a deed to the purchaser upon the satisfaction of various conditions. See, e.g., 8(f) on page 7 of this sample North Carolina purchase agreement that I found using Google. Under the law of North Carolina, equitable title to the property does not pass until this promised deed is delivered to the purchaser. (Legal title passes when the deed is subsequently registered with the appropriate office.) See generally Newell v. Edwards, 7 NC App 650 (1970) (citing various cases).

You should retain a lawyer to ensure that everything is executed correctly. From your post, it sounds like you may be unfamiliar with what is required.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 12:30:44 PM by Cathy »

Fireball

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2016, 11:14:15 AM »
A quitclaim deed is easy to draw up and would probably suffice, but only a title company or closing attorney would know for sure in your state.  It won't be much money and is well spent IMO.

iris lily

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2016, 12:12:22 PM »
A quitclaim deed is easy to draw up and would probably suffice, but only a title company or closing attorney would know for sure in your state.  It won't be much money and is well spent IMO.

What does a quitclaim deed have to do with this property sale?

OP, this is a contract the sellers and buyers are entering into. The bank can call it an "agreement" if they like, but I think it's silly to be on either end of this deal without an attorney representing me.

I sold my mom's house to my cousin and both me and my cousin had separate attorneys representing our interests. The sweet thing is that my attorney handled it for free because he's a family friend and a really upstanding guy. I didn't even ask him to do that.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 12:21:00 PM »
I sold my mom's house to my cousin and both me and my cousin had separate attorneys representing our interests. The sweet thing is that my attorney handled it for free because he's a family friend and a really upstanding guy. I didn't even ask him to do that.

I hope you took him out to a nice dinner or something!

And yes, I agree to get an attorney.

iris lily

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 12:26:15 PM »
I sold my mom's house to my cousin and both me and my cousin had separate attorneys representing our interests. The sweet thing is that my attorney handled it for free because he's a family friend and a really upstanding guy. I didn't even ask him to do that.

I hope you took him out to a nice dinner or something!

And yes, I agree to get an attorney.

Well, its even better for me: he handled my mother's entire estate for no fee.

But that said, but he is a very close friend of my brother, and our mom was kind of like his mom since his own mother was not much in the picture. Also, my mom's estate was simple. I'm not sure there was much beyond that house sale in her estate since we kids were already co owners of her financial instruments. The house sale was a clean deal, he didn't have to fuss with much.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 01:27:08 PM »
If bank financing is involved, the bank will almost certainly require the loan to be closed by an attorney.   

geekette

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 01:53:00 PM »
Good to know.  And I don't think there are even two attorneys in the small town where the house is...

geekette

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Re: Selling real estate within the family - is a lawyer required?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 04:31:46 PM »
We're selling to her at 1/2 tax value plus the cost of improvements we've made (60 year old house, so the original HVAC was replaced, wood floors redone, some plumbing and electrical work, paint, etc).  She's getting a good deal, and we're happy to keep it in the family.  There will be no drama, but I think everyone will be happy with a lawyer.   Except me; I'm the cheap one...