Hi, I’m Spencer Stromberg. I’m one of the attorneys here at Lucent law. I recently had a phone conversation with a potential client. Unfortunately, I was not able to help this person, and so the reason I’m talking to you today is to try to help people avoid the same problem that they had.
This buyer purchased a home from a FSBO seller using a form purchase and sale agreement from a local title insurance company. The parties filled out the agreement, and the title company closed the transaction. Unfortunately, the home has several defects that require expensive fixes, all of which would have been disclosed by the Seller Disclosure Statement or a competent inspection. Unfortunately, this buyer didn’t receive any advice about the terms of the agreement, the seller’s disclosure obligations, or the need for an inspection despite the home’s relatively recent construction. Under Washington law, this buyer has virtually no hope of holding the seller responsible for any of these defects. Honestly, I’ve received dozens of calls like this over the years — this is just the most recent.
Inspections and Seller Disclosure Statements
Unfortunately, for these people, there’s not much I can do for them. The law in the state of Washington is essentially buyer beware. So if you’re buying a home, you need to do the inspection, you need to ask all the questions, and make sure you’re satisfied with it. Your purchase and sale agreement needs to have a contingency that would allow you to back out if you find things wrong with the house and you don’t feel comfortable moving ahead with the sale.
There are a lot of these transactions where there’s no realtor involved. When there is a realtor involved, they know the laws and give advice. They encourage people to get inspections done. If they’re representing the seller, they tell them that they must make these seller disclosures. But when there is no realtor involved, where do you go for that advice? Unfortunately, fill-in-the-blank documents are not the correct answer for most people because most people only buy and sell a handful of homes in their entire lives. They’re not experts. They don’t know what the law is. And that’s where we come in.
Fixed-Price Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement Package
We think there is a better solution for everyone involved. Lucent offers a fixed-fee real estate purchase and sale agreement drafting service that includes attorney consultation regarding terms, contingencies, disclosure obligations, etc. We have a quick intake process, and we prioritize drafting REPSAs in our schedules because we know these are time-sensitive matters. We are happy to represent either the buyer or seller regarding properties anywhere in Washington or Idaho. Throughout the transaction’s life, we’re available to our clients to answer questions and help keep the deal on track, and we even include drafting an addendum in the package price.
If the transaction is on property located in the Spokane region, we can handle the closing, which means we’re a one-stop-shop. The closing fees are separate from the package price for the purchase and sale agreement, but we’re competitive with all local title companies and closing agents. So we find that a lot of our clients want to get it all done in one place.
If you happen to be trying to buy or sell a home without a real estate agent involved. Please give us a call. We work with people across the entire state of Washington and Idaho. And we can help you get your transaction done.
This article is transcribed from the corresponding video and edited for clarity.