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Real Estate Sales by Owners

April 12, 1987

A significant portion of my practice involves the representation of parties in litigated real estate transactions. This includes the representation of persons who have sold their own property without the services of a real estate licensee (broker or agent). So I would like to say that your article omitted an important caveat. The omitted caution should be worded as follow:

"Warning: Sellers selling their own homes without a listing broker are extremely susceptible to the sharp practices of certain buyers and may be defrauded by such buyers."

We have been required to file lawsuits on behalf of some of our clients who have sold their homes without brokers and who have been defrauded. If these persons had been represented by real estate brokers or salespersons, they might not have been such easy targets.

Therefore, persons selling their homes should consider the services of a real estate licensee whose skill and training may assist in avoiding the risks described above. In fact, it may be "penny-wise and pound-foolish" not to use a broker, for a broker's commission may be considerably less expensive than the loss of equity and the cost of litigation.

DAVID I. KARP

Woodland Hills

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