Understanding the Risks in a “For Sale by Owner” Real Estate Purchase

Wheaton, IL real estate attorneysThere are a number of reasons that you may want to purchase a home that is being sold by the owner. It could be that the property has everything you have been looking for, or it could simply be a desire to complete an expedient purchase. Whatever the case, there are some risks that you should be aware of, and some factors you should consider, when purchasing a “for sale by owner” (FSBO) property. These risks and factors – and how you can effectively manage them – could prove to be crucial. 

You May Have to Do Some Leg Work

Real estate agents are paid (and trained) to address many details for both the buyer and the seller. A FSBO owner, though interested in selling their property, does not have the same knowledge or experience, which means they may fail to provide you with important information. This oversight may not necessarily be intentional, but it is something you should be aware of. Furthermore, FSBO owners may lack the organizational skills needed to complete paperwork in a timely manner.

Be prepared for possible delays and never agree to anything until you have done your homework. At the very least, this should include an investigation on any previous insurance claims filed on the home, a market analysis of the area, research on zoning details and specific details of the property, and an experienced real estate attorney who can protect your interests by examining the contract and other details of the transaction.

Managing Your Escrow

When you purchase a home through a real estate agent, the escrow that goes toward your down payment is sent to a bank or other neutral entity. Buyers and sellers do not have to “do” anything extra to ensure this payment is secure. In a FSBO transaction, far too many prospective buyers make the mistake of giving the owner the escrow amount. This can result in all kinds of legal issues. Avoid this pitfall by searching for a neutral third-party who is willing to hold the earnest deposit until the process is complete.

Inspections and Contracts

When it comes to possible missteps in a FSBO transaction, there are two major ones that buyers often make: failing to effectively vet the home inspector and not hiring an attorney to review the contract. In a best case scenario, these two mistakes could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs or in remedying legal details surrounding the purchase. Worst-case scenarios are frightening and can include everything from learning that the home you purchased has a major issue (electrical problems, severe water damage, black mold, etc.) to finding out that there are years’ worth of back taxes owed on the property. Do not become victim to these circumstances! Hire a thorough inspector that will check every nook and cranny, and always contact a real estate attorney before signing a contract.

Work With a DuPage County Residential Real Estate Lawyer

At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, we protect the interests of our clients in FSBO real estate transactions. Able to provide knowledge, experience, and skilled assistance in areas pertaining to contracts, home inspections, zoning issues, and more, we are prepared to help you effectively and efficiently navigate the details of your real estate purchase. For more information, contact our Wheaton, IL real estate attorneys today. Call 630-665-2500.

Source:

https://www.thebalance.com/buying-for-sale-by-owner-1798295

Who Should I Choose to Be My Power of Attorney?

power of attorney, Wheaton estate planning lawyerHave you ever thought about who should handle your affairs if you became physically or mentally capacitated? Sadly, unexpected accidents and illnesses can affect even individuals who are otherwise young and healthy. A power of attorney is a type of advance directive that allows a person to designate a representative or “agent” to speak on his or her behalf in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury. The term “power of attorney” is used to refer to the estate planning tool as well as the individual who is chosen to act as the agent. This is a heavy responsibility, so it is important to choose someone who is capable of handling the role.

Financial Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A power of attorney for healthcare, also called a medical power of attorney, allows you to choose a representative to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to express your own medical wishes. For example, if complications arise during surgery and you are under anesthesia, your power of attorney for healthcare may need to make decisions on your behalf about how to proceed.

A financial power of attorney allows you to choose a representative to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Your agent will be responsible for paying your bills and handling other monetary or real estate matters.  Some individuals choose to assign both medical and financial responsibilities to the same person, while others choose to assign these roles to two different people.

Considerations When Assigning Powers of Attorney

Choosing the person who will take on the huge responsibility of being your agent is often a difficult task. You may be conflicted about who you should assign as your financial or medical power or attorney. When choosing an agent, it is essential to choose someone who you can trust. You must also ask yourself whether or not this person can handle the duties for which he or she will be responsible.

For example, you may be extremely close with your adult son, but he might struggle to pay his bills or file his taxes on time. Although you may love him dearly, he may not be the best choice for managing your financial affairs. You should also consider how a potential agent would handle a decision that other family members or friends may disagree with. For example, perhaps you explain in advance to your medical power of attorney that you do not want to be kept alive via artificial ventilation if you are close to death. If you later become fatally sick or injured and the question of artificial ventilation arises, will he or she be strong enough to follow your wishes even if other loved ones disagree?

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Estate Planning Lawyer

For estate planning guidance from a seasoned DuPage County estate planning attorney, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call our office today at 630-665-2500 and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your needs.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/managing-wealth/042216/medical-vs-financial-power-attorney-reasons-separate-them.asp

https://www.verywellhealth.com/characteristics-for-choosing-power-of-attorney-4134991

What Should Small Business Owners Know About Succession Planning?

succession, DuPage County bueiSuccession planning refers to passing on ownership or leadership roles in a business. If you are a small business owner, proper succession planning can help you avoid many of the negative consequences of a sudden change in ownership or management. Even if you do not plan to give up ownership in the immediate future, it is never too soon to get started on a business succession plan. Once you are ready to move on to a new business venture or retire, the plans for selling or passing on the business will already be started. Ideally, succession planning should be an ongoing process that is updated as your business changes and grows.  

Hire Employees Capable of Taking on Leadership Roles

Sometimes, a business owner wants to keep a business in the family. He or she may have an adult child or other relative that he or she hopes will eventually take over the business. However, passing the business to a family member is not always be the best option. It is also possible that the intended recipient of the business decides that he or she does not want to be a business owner. This is why it is crucial that business owners hire employees who are capable of filling leadership roles as they become available.

Choosing an employee as your successor is not the right choice for everyone, but it does come with certain benefits. If your successor is an employee, you will have time to properly train him or her and set the business up for success—even if this success occurs in your absence. Furthermore, if employees know that there are opportunities for advancement and even the chance of being an owner, they will be more inclined to put in the maximum effort at their current jobs.

Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

It is an upsetting possibility to consider, but have you ever considered what would happen to your business if you become seriously ill or passed away? There are some situations in which succession planning is obviously necessary, such as when an owner or manager is planning to retire, but sometimes an unexpected event forces the need for a change in leadership. Proper succession planning will give you the peace of mind that even if something happens to yourself or a valuable member of your team, your business will not be left without a leader.

Contact a Wheaton Business Succession Attorney

Succession planning is not only about choosing a successor but also developing a business that will be able to run smoothly even when major changes take place. For dependable legal guidance regarding succession planning and other business needs, contact a knowledgeable DuPage County business lawyer from Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call our office at 630-665-2500 and schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/succession-planning.asp

https://www.sagepeople.com/about-us/news-hub/succession-planning-strategy-effective/