Seller’s counsel can perform the following functions if retained early in the transaction:
- Identify and eliminate potential problems before they arise (i.e. missing permits, lead paint issues, etc.).
- Negotiate the brokerage contract or listing agreement with a Realtor® and make certain that you understand all of its terms so that there are no surprises.
- Negotiate the Purchase and Sale Contract – the instrument that governs all aspects of the transaction – so that you avoid incurring “hidden” costs or unnecessary entanglements.
- Eliminate and/or cure title problems that threaten the transaction.
- Draft transaction instruments. In Vermont, the Seller’s attorney typically drafts the Warranty Deed, the Property Transfer Tax and other Returns, and other required forms (i.e. the smoke detector certification).
- Resolve disputes that arise under the Purchase and Sale Contract. Disputes may arise as to the meaning of particular clauses – i.e. building inspection and/or financing contingency clauses – that require the attention of counsel in order to resolve without unraveling the transaction.
- Close the transaction safely and successfully. At closing, there are a number of documents that need to be signed and/or exchanged. Attorneys are familiar with these documents. Your attorney will make certain: that you understand the meaning of each document you sign; that title is not transferred without receiving proper payment in accordance with the parties’ agreement; and that special arrangements (i.e. escrows) are handled properly without endangering your interests.