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Important Legal Tips for Selling a House to a Relative - Anderson Leblanc Upland Attorney

Important Legal Tips for Selling a House to a Relative


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Selling a home is often difficult when taking all involved factors into account. However, when the buyer is a relative, this may be complicated. If the individual feels he or she should be provided some kind of discount or lower purchase price, the dealing may fail before it begins.

Close relatives often feel that they should be given special consideration because of the relationship they have with the seller. While this may be true if the property were a gift or being sold so that the relative’s family may prosper, most of these transactions are for a pricing that assists the seller in either purchasing a new home or for other financial reasons. It is usually best to contact a real estate lawyer to assist with all the steps in selling the property.

Keeping the deal strictly on the legal side without emotional entanglements is important when selling to a relative. Additionally, it may be essential to work with the buyer the same as if he or she were just any customer. Giving him or her documents through a broker or real estate agent often cuts down on conversations about a lower price than the market would suggest. When the family member is from the extended portion of relatives, this is an easier manner in exchanges for the real estate deal. However, if the individual is a closer member of the seller’s family, some distance is usually recommended.

Legal and Binding Steps

Selling to family members is often complicated due to the existing relationship already in place. Add to this a dealing with real estate, and the matter is often too difficult to pursue without assistance. This means that certain steps and tips should be used to avoid the issues that may arise if the agreement goes sour. Legal problems may arise when selling a house to relatives, and if for no other reason that the possibility of negative legal consequences, it is imperative the deal completes correctly. One step in accomplishing this is to ensure the deal is in writing through a contract or agreement. This is the same as most other transactions of real estate sales. There are various documents that must be filled out, signed and filed to the appropriate officials. These documents have certain terms that may prevent conflict in the future and prevent the possibility of trouble for the seller.

In order to ensure the deal is legal, various actions must be completed such as tax liabilities and other possible consequences of not disclosing issues with the house or land. All legal formalities should be strictly adhered to in order to prevent possible penalties. In most of these circumstances, a real estate lawyer should be hired to assist. This professional is often better than a broker or agent as they may require a greater amount through a commission of the sale. Many sellers find that personal financing is not the best option. It is usually recommended to seek a bank or lending agency to provide funding for the relative. This prevents being taken advantage of, issues of nonpayment and other situations where the money received is less than the agreed to amount. This also permits a creditor to foreclose on the person relieving the seller from doing so if it is necessary.

Third-Parties Involvement

When selling a home, it is important to ensure the property is inspected. This provides a list of issues, what needs to be repaired and any possible complications with the house or land. Defects may be revealed in this manner to include possible other problems such as infestations of insects. This also provides the relative with a list of information about the property to ease the worry over what could be wrong with the house. The conditions of the deal are clear as to what is provided in the sale. When the transactions are completed with full disclosure, this relieves the seller from liability of accidents and incidents in most situations.

The Need for a Real Estate Lawyer

To further distance the seller from the relative that is attempting to purchase the house, a real estate lawyer should be hired to assist in the entire process. This professional is also needed for any variations to state and local laws that may affect the sale. He or she may ensure the sale is enforceable with few of no issues transpiring later. This legal representative may also be the primary contact with the relative to ensure all processes are valid and legal.

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