Should You Sell Your Home to an Attorney?


Sell to a San Diego Real Estate Attorney?

At the risk of being sued, my advice to our San Diego home sellers is “probably not.”

Years ago,  feisty husband and partner Mike was president of a mortgage banking firm and contracted with a prominent legal partnership in Los Angeles for an expert legal opinion regarding lending to attorneys.  Could they discriminate and decline to lend to attorneys as a class?

The legal opinion returned by Gibson, Dunn, Krutcher was a YES.

It may not be permissible to discriminate against real estate clients because of age, sex, race or sexual inclination–but discrimination against a profession was, in their legal opinion, a legal act.

I respect fellow San Diego real estate agent Tanya Brooking and when she shared that a buyer of her coastal listing,who also happened to be a property defect attorney, was already hinting around about a potential “mold” lawsuit, I couldn’t resist sharing the legal opinion Mike paid dearly for a couple of decades ago.

This San Diego property defect attorney appears to already be sniffing around for a potential lawsuit. The sellers of this property as well as their agent Tanya disclosed every defect they were aware of regarding this coastal home to the purchaser. Moreover, the attorney-buyer paid his own inspector to go through the home–and inspect it to what we would assume to be a “construction defect” attorney’s standards.

That was done, and he is still hinting about potential litigation.


Would I recommend selling your San Diego home to a litigious attorney?

Probably not!

And if you do, disclose all you know about the home and insist that every possible inspection be completed by the attorney. This, though, is good advice for any real estate transaction.

3 responses to “Should You Sell Your Home to an Attorney?

  1. Sharon,
    Our California real estate forms were carefully crafted and written by California real estate attorneys to protect the interests of both buyer and seller. Am sure it is the same in Florida.

    Any material changes to the contract would disrupt that balance protecting both sides in the transaction. In this recent case, the attorney had a professional home inspection completed prior to close of escrow and could have had as many inspections as he wanted. After close of escrow, he discovered a small drywall patch in a secondary closet, thinks he smells mold and is calling in guys in white suits and face guards to confirm.

    Seller of home lived there for years and never noticed the patch–and had never done any drywall repairs. Perhaps it was done by a prior owner, or a correction made during original construction of the home? Nobody knows and there had been no noticeable or “off” odors.

    It appears to be a lawsuit or $ettlement in the making.

    Situations like these compel us to check buyer’s occupation and advise accordingly.

  2. We advise our San Diego real estate sellers to beware of to whom they are selling their homes. It is interesting to note that sellers are required to provide full disclosures to buyers about their homes, but buyers none about their litigious histories (if any).

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