I am constantly reading in the posts of Expat Groups or what I prefer to call INTERNATIONAL Groups, a question that many members ask, which is whether or not they need a Lawyer to sell their house, apartment, plot, country house or farmhouse.
And I have also read a lot of advice (some of which comes from real estate agents), that encourages you to sell your property without the intervention of a Lawyer.
Well, I am sure you will think that, as a Lawyer, I am interested in defending the argument that yes of course it is necessary to use one (as it is defending my profession).
However, I am going to convince you that for me, as a Lawyer, precisely the opposite is much more profitable.
Most of the time, this advice of ‘not to use a Lawyer when selling your property’, is imprudent advice, and in some cases, it comes from the real estate agent, who will tell you that they themselves or the buyer’s Lawyer will take care of everything and therefore you do not have to worry about using a Lawyer yourself for your sale.
STOP AND THINK
However, stop and think for a moment!
1.- Isn’t it true that the Real Estate Agent has the most interest vested in the sale taking place, and that, therefore, their main objective is to make sure that it does take place?
And is it not even truer, that most of the time, the Real Estate Agent protects the buyer’s interest?
And this is logical, because you as the seller, when all is said and done, you sell your property and you leave … so you will not be a client in the future. Instead, the buyer is a potential client for the future (for example, if he decides to rent out the property, or if he decides to sell it).
2.- Is it not true that the buyer’s Lawyer’s main interest should be to defend his clients’ interest? Do you think that if there is something that could benefit his clients, he would take your side, or would he take his clients’ side, as they are the ones who are paying him?
I think the answer is obviously no.
“LAWYERS ARE CHEAP BEFORE THERE IS A PROBLEM (PRECISELY TO AVOID IT).
WHEN THE PROBLEM HAS APPEARED THAT IS WHEN LAWYERS’ FEES ARE HIGH.”
COMMENTS ENCOURAGING YOU NOT TO USE A LAWYER
However, I don’t stop reading comments from Real Estate Agents encouraging the non-use of Lawyers when selling, with them, themselves assuming this role.
And not only do I read comments, but I have witnessed these situations myself, situations where certain real estate agencies act as “Lawyers” for both parties.
LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING
Please, let me ask you one thing: when you have to fix a leaking pipe, do you call a car mechanic, or do you call a plumber?
When you have a severe stomach ache, do you go to the nearest candy store or do you go to the doctor?
Well, the only one who can help you professionally when you sell a property is a Lawyer. And not, a Real Estate Agent. And even less so the buyer’s Lawyer, who in every way is the opposing Lawyer.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS ARE NOT LAWYERS
With all due respect to Real Estate Agents (and believe me when I say that I collaborate with many and have great friends in that sector), they are professionals in the sale and purchase of property. But they are not experts in the painstaking tax and legal analysis that comes with a sale (among many other issues).
AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT, THE ADVICE YOU SHOULD BE GIVING IS THAT BOTH PARTIES SHOULD USE A LAWYER THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS.
Do you think that if there is a problem later, the Real Estate Agent will solve it?
Did you hire the agent as a realtor or as a Lawyer?
Does the Real Estate Agent have civil liability insurance like we, as Lawyers, have in case of a serious mistake or error?
I am sure, there are many Real Estate Agents who have civil liability insurance, but what these insurances cover is their job as a Real Estate Agent, and not as LAWYERS.
THERE ARE MANY FACTORS IN A PURCHASE AND A SALE
Contrary to what many people think, there are many factors that come into play in a property sale: (therefore we are talking about something very complex)
Does a retention of non-resident’s tax have to be done because the seller is a non-fiscal tax resident?
Does a retention of non-resident’s tax have to be done when the seller is a resident, but is not a fiscal resident?
What is the Capital Gains Tax or Tax on the increase in the value of urban land?
And if you have sold below the purchase value, can you recover the retained tax?
Would you have to pay the capital gains even though you have had a capital loss?
Have you been assured that the IBI for that year has been paid so that later you aren’t landed with an unpleasant surprise?
And I can assure you, there are many more things in the questions that arise in my day to day dealings with clients who are selling their properties that are not included here.
“I UNDERSTAND THAT
YOU ARE TRYING
TO SAVE MONEY”
I UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR ARE TRYING TO SAVE MONEY
I understand you, you are trying to save some money on the sale of your property, and you will try to do it, for example, by saving on your Lawyer’s fees.
However, let me tell you that where I earn the most money as a Lawyer, is precisely with those cases in which mistakes are made by Real Estate Agents. For example when drafting the contract, (they usually use standard models), or when they don’t foresee legal situations that may arise.
As a consequence of these situations, most cases end up IN COURT. And that’s when Lawyers get really expensive. And when, even the best possible outcome is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE than having used a Lawyer in the early stages of your sale.
I use the same phrase with all my clients: LAWYERS ARE CHEAP BEFORE THERE IS A PROBLEM (PRECISELY TO AVOID IT).
WHEN THE PROBLEM HAS APPEARED THAT IS WHEN LAWYERS’ FEES ARE HIGH.
DO YOU NEED A LAWYER FOR THE SALE OF YOUR PROPERTY?
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? WANT TO GET IT?