Then why allow your Realtor to perform Legal Work?
As odd as the analogy sounds, it is not really that far off base. A nurse has seen many surgeries performed successfully, and chances are with a little practice the Nurse could pull off a fair amount of surgeries without any real problems. Of course, that one time that there is a major problem you ask yourself “Why oh why would I use someone without the proper training for one of the most important events in my life?”
The same logic holds true in allowing a Realtor, without the proper training, to advise you and fill out your legal documentation. The problem with using a Realtor to exclusively handle the legal documents for the largest single purchase you will ever make in your life, a house, is two fold.
1. Experience and Expertise- While some Realtors may have vast experience, they simply do not have the proper training or expertise to anticipate the issues that may arise. While a Realtor may have had a client or two that has been involved in a law suit concerning a real estate transaction, that is where their experience ends. An attorney has a full understanding not just of what provisions and exceptions should be in the contract, but of their true meaning and actual application in a civil litigation setting.
2. Conflict of Interest- This is the most important aspect to remember. If you are a buyer, and you have not signed a buyer’s agency agreement with your Realtor, then that Realtor represents the seller as a sub-agent. The Realtor that is helping you fill out these forms is not an agent for you, but rather must keep the seller’s best interests in mind. Even as the seller or as a buyer with a buyer’s agency agreement there are times when the Realtor represents both parties and somehow owes a fiduciary duty to both. This of course can be impossible to meet if there is a conflict of what is best for each party.
A myriad of issues can arise when purchasing a home including the definition of a defect and the disposition of the earnest money. If you are going to spend the money on buying the house, and having it inspected, spend a few extra dollars and retain counsel to ensure that your best interests are kept in mind at all times.