AN ATTORNEY BROKER CAN
HELP SELLERS IN MANY WAYS
I am a real estate broker (DOL 39666, Madison Partners, 1001 4th Ave, Suite 3200, Seattle, WA 98154, Office: 206-621-0300) and also a real estate attorney (WSBA #8103).
I offer something that most brokers cannot: I can also be your attorney. There is no extra charge for that if you list or co-list with me.
An example of co-listing: I am in Lynnwood. You are in Yakima. You are selling a property that banks will not finance easily. You need seller financing. Then co-list with your local broker and with me. Your local broker might share some of his or her commission with me. Or you might increase the total commission in order to cover my fee. You do not have to pay a retainer up front. I get paid at closing.
When you ask brokers legal questions, most will wisely say “I can’t answer that question because I am not a lawyer”. Well, I am a lawyer, and I can answer that question. When you need a seller-financed note and deed of trust prepared, most will wisely say, “I can only fill in standard forms. I can’t draft special documents because I am not a lawyer.
If your local broker has gotten buyer and seller to come to a hand shake agreement but needs a lawyer’s touch to get the deal properly written up and closed, I do what is called escrow setup. I charge attorney fees for that service. I ask for a retainer up front. Note: I do not charge for telephone inquiries. I prefer to talk with potential clients to determine whether I can help them.
In all cases, where there is another broker involved, I respect that broker’s position with his or her client.
I provide co-brokering and escrow setup services throughout Washington.
It is always wise to have an attorney advising you when you are selling.
Most sellers want their buyer to go get a new loan and cash out the seller’s equity. I think that is fine, and I love to work with sellers who want to be cashed out.
But just in case you are open to “carrying a contract”, I can help you do that in a way that is safe and could earn you more money.
You can generally get a higher sale price if you “carry a contract”.
It is still hard for buyers to get financing. The rules are arbitrary. There are a lot of buyers who can pay 10% down, who have good jobs, and who also have co-signers. However, there are a lot of such buyers who have bad credit and cannot get new financing because of a recent bankruptcy or short sale.
Another example would be the business sale, referred to as a Biz Op, or a commercial deal. The local listing broker might not know how to handle the technicalities involved. That’s where I come in.
Why would a seller want to agree to a commission increase? So the seller will not have to pay attorney fees up front or be billed by the hour, and so the seller will not owe fees at all for my service if the transaction fails to close.
Why would I want to work on a commission basis, risking the possibility that I might not be paid at all? Because I can charge more if there is a possibility that I might not get paid at all. Seller’s understand this and sometimes have no problem paying more if they don’t have to pay anything down and don’t have to get billed by the hour.
There is another reason why I like to work on a commission basis: I do not like to keep track of my hours. Some deals go quickly. Some of them take enormous amounts of my time. It is a trade-off I am willing to make.
I do not actively solicit listings from sellers. Nor do I advertise to buyers that I will find a home for them. I prefer to do referral work with other brokers, co-brokering or doing escrow setup.
And I also help For Sale By Owner FSBOs. If a buyer and seller have found each other without the services of a broker, they can hire me to do escrow setup. I will represent either buyer or seller but not both.
I ran an escrow department in my law office for twenty years. I ran Deal Mortgage Corporation for four years. I am still a licensed mortgage loan officer, although my license is inactive. I still do mortgages but only commercial mortgages.
I have a varied background in real estate law and mortgage law, and so I can be a lot of help in figuring out how to put deals together and get them closed.
Feel free to call me if you think I might be able to help. I do not charge for initial inquiries.
James Robert Deal, Attorney
James at James Deal dot com