A Wisconsin Lawyer’s Guide to FSBO Real Estate Transactions

What is FSBO (For Sale By Owner)?

FSBO (For Sale By Owner) refers to the process of selling one’s home without the help of a real estate agent or broker. With the rise of house listing websites and new tools to aid FSBO sellers, this cost-effective method has become more accessible to the average homeowner. 

Eliminating a real estate agent may increase profit from your house’s sale. However, going the FSBO route means more work for the seller. FSBO sellers must take on the responsibilities of listing a property, marketing it, hosting open houses, and negotiating with interested buyers.

Why hire an FSBO Lawyer?

Real estate law is complex and ever-changing. Hiring a FSBO lawyer mitigates the risks associated with real estate transactions while saving time and frustration. Yet, the most significant benefit of an FSBO lawyer is that they can prevent potentially expensive complications that could derail or delay a sale.

What can an FSBO Lawyer do for sellers?

  • Negotiate purchase and sale agreements with buyers.
  • Draft contracts, purchase agreements, and closing documents in accordance with federal, state, and local laws.
  • Offer counsel in the event of a dispute with a buyer.
  • Tailor legal advice to the seller’s unique situation and help sellers to foresee potential problems.
  • If anything at closing goes awry, such as the buyer backing out or an issue with your title insurance, a lawyer will be on your side to assist and protect your home sale.
  • Without a real estate lawyer, FSBO sellers need to arrange for title insurance, preparing the deed, and scheduling the closing.

What does a real estate lawyer do for an FSBO buyer?

Buying a home is a significant investment and a milestone in the life of many buyers. Real estate lawyers handle the often-overwhelming amount of paperwork involved in a real estate purchase. FSBO buyers can be confident that when a FSBO lawyer is involved in a deal, the transaction will be free of scams, unfavorable terms, and legal obstacles.

  • Assist FSBO buyers with writing and revising an Offer to Purchase as well as any needed counteroffers.
  • A FSBO lawyer can negotiate on your behalf during the purchase process.
  • Review documents and contracts for red flags and potential problems.
  • Make certain that sellers are following all federal, state, and local laws.
  • Eliminate the risk of potentially costly errors in documents and contracts.
  • Help buyers with construction, zoning, and association questions.
  • Wisconsin real estate lawyers can review the property’s title to ensure that there are no liens or easements.

Do I need a lawyer for a Wisconsin FSBO real estate sale? 

The State of Wisconsin does not legally require sellers to have a lawyer for their FSBO real estate transaction. However, 21 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have deemed it lawfully necessary for all FSBO sellers to employ a lawyer during the real estate closing process. 

house for sale sold without real estate agent

Frequently Asked Questions 

When should a seller hire a real estate lawyer?

Selling a home is complex, and the potential legal pitfalls can be difficult to foresee. For first-time sellers, a FSBO lawyer should be considered an essential part of the selling process from start to finish. Some experienced FSBO sellers wait to bring in a lawyer until a problem arises, such as a dispute with a buyer or uncertainty about a contract’s terms. Getting a lawyer involved early – as soon as you decide to go it alone – gives the seller an edge throughout the process. 

How much does a Wisconsin FSBO lawyer cost?

The cost of a Wisconsin FSBO lawyer may vary, and the price depends on several factors. To determine the cost of an FSBO lawyer for your situation, call Wynn at Law, LLC at 262-725-0175

How do I sell my home without a real estate agent? 

Selling a home without a real estate agent is a great way to save on costs while maintaining freedom and control throughout the selling process. Successful FSBO sellers typically follow these six steps: 

  1. Retain a Wisconsin FSBO lawyer.
  2. Research the local housing market and view other properties for sale in the area.
  3. Prepare your home for pictures, open houses, tours, and showings.
  4. Set the asking price for your house and list the property for sale on Zillow, FSBO.com, and Trulia.
  5. Show your home to interested buyers.
  6. Negotiate and accept the best offer.

What is the difference between a real estate lawyer and a real estate agent?

Real estate agents are not attorneys. Real estate agents cannot provide legal advice on contracts or other legal aspects of the transaction process. Agents cannot interpret title work or draft conveyance documents like a deed. Conversely, real estate lawyers can provide legal counsel, draft legal documents, and ensure that the transaction follows local, state, and federal regulations. Generally, a real estate agent is paid a commission based upon the sales price at closing and a real estate attorney is paid a set hourly rate.

Do the FSBO buyer and seller both need a real estate lawyer?

Hiring a lawyer to protect your rights, money, and real estate transaction is the common sense thing for both FSBO parties. It is highly recommended that both buyers and sellers have a lawyer during FSBO real estate transactions. A real estate lawyer cannot represent both parties in a transaction, as it would be a conflict of interest. A buyer’s lawyer protects the buyer and ensures that the sale meets all legal requirements. The FSBO seller’s lawyer maximizes the seller’s interests and ensures the transaction follows a lawful process for the deed’s transfer. 

Wynn at Law, LLC’s Real Estate Closing Checklist For Buyers

Wynn at Law, LLC’s Real Estate Closing Checklist For Sellers

Contact Wynn at Law, LLC for all FSBO Transactions

If you are selling your home FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or buying a home FSBO, you need a knowledgeable real estate lawyer to protect your interests in the transaction. 

Wynn at Law, LLC will ensure your FSBO sale is completed lawfully and works diligently to provide the best outcome for our clients. If you plan to buy or sell a home FSBO, contact our real estate lawyers to assist you every step of the way. Our knowledgeable FSBO lawyers are active members of the Wisconsin Realtors Association and will work with you to get the highest return on your house’s sale. Wynn at Law, LLC has law offices located in Salem, Lake Geneva, and Delavan, Wisconsin. Contact us at 262-725-0175 to schedule an appointment today.

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