Why You Need An Atorney?

I asked my friend, colleague and attorney Mary Anne Vance to answer this question. Here is what she had to say:

"Ever wonder what all those pages of words really mean on your offer to purchase or sell your dream home?

"You owe it to yourself to understand everything written on your real estate forms . Just because it is preprinted language does not mean it is the best language for you . Hiring an attorney to review your offer to purchase or sell a home will give you peace of mind and help you understand the legal process. Unlike a real estate agent that has a vested interest in whether a sale closes, your attorney will give you fair and impartial advice about your rights and obligations . For example, as a buyer do you really want to settle for " marketable title" as the form dictates or do you want " free and clear title " to your home. Usually one or two hours is all the time it will take an attorney to review or prepare your offer and you can relax knowing you are buying property on your terms."

And so I asked, why wouldn't I want the term "marketable title" in my forms?


"When you buy a property you pay money to become the sole owner with "clear title". Clear Title means that only you are the owner and that no one else has a lien against the property for example , for payment of the prior owners debts. Neither do you want a power company to have an easement allowing the company to place a high voltage power line through your back yard. If you had one of these encumbrances on your title , your title is " clouded title " A " Clouded Title" could be " marketable" meaning that someone might buy the house even with the lien or the easement but they would pay a lower price because of these problems. A property with " clear title " is more valuable .

"The standard language in the preprinted purchase form says only that title need be " marketable" which means that you agree to buy the property even if it had a clouded title . Smart purchasers know to change this "marketable" language 'to free and clear of all encumbrances'."

Thanks Mary Ann!

Any more questions?
The Law Office of Mary Anne Vance, P.S.
901 5th Avenue, Suite 1111
Seattle, WA 98164
Phone: 206.682.2333
maryanne@vancelaw.com