A few days ago I talked about my friend who represented himself in his wife’s personal injury case. Today I want to tell you about another colleague; this one is a real estate broker who decided he would not hire a lawyer to review the Iowa Seller’s Residential Real Estate Disclosure Statement when selling his own home. He filled out the form like he’s told others to do and even verbally answered questions about a particular appliance that hadn’t been used in some time. The sale closed and then the new owner turned on this particular appliance, which needed over a thousand dollars or repair work. The new owner was understandably angry, and believing he’d been misled contacted his agent who contacted the seller through his agent and then negotiated the seller paying most of the repair bill to make the appliance work.

Of course right after the buyer’s agent contacted the seller I got a call asking me for free advice. Of course he wanted free advice; isn't this the same person who wouldn't pay me just $250.00 to review the statement before he started to hand it out?  No way am I willing to take time away from my paying clients to provide free legal services. But in this instance to me what’s even worse is that as a lawyer (I’m also a licensed real estate broker) my office offers this exact service and for a very reasonable price. We review the Iowa Seller’s Residential Real Estate Disclosure Statement for sellers for just $250.00.

Can any of this ever add up? You do the math and tell me.

  1. We review these statements with sellers for $250. That allows sellers another set of eyes, more analysis and added protection against post-sale litigation. 
  2. Post-sale seller takes $750.00 out of his pocket to pay the buyer.
  3. The service Katrina and I offer costs $250.00.
  4. What about the costs of future failure to disclose challenges by the buyer?
  5. There is now uncertainty about further claims, because of course the seller also didn't want to pay me to draft a Release of Claims. 
  6. What is the future liability: $__________. (Fill in any amount and don't forget to add in attorney fees.)
  7. Spend $250.00 or spend $______________.
  8. What makes sense to you?

In the future there is no guarantee the buyer isn’t coming back with more questions about defective appliances, leaky roof seams, leaky windows, faulty appliances and a host of other defects he then will want the seller to pay for.

So let me ask you: What’s in your wallet?

Visit us at http://www.lombardilaw.com/ and http://iowarealestatedisclosure.blogspot.com/ where you can listen to Attorney Lombardi discuss the answer to legal questions. If we can help you call 515-222-1110 or write to Steve at [email protected] or send Katrina an email at [email protected]. Katrina and I have designed a review that can save you major headaches after the closing. If you're a seller call us, we'd love the opportunity to show you what we mean.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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