Questions you Should Ask Before Hiring an Attorney for your FSBO Transaction

Excerpt from including comments from Rick Davis regarding some of the questions you should ask before hiring an attorney for your FSBO transaction.

Selling your own home puts more of the sale price in your pocket, but you don’t want to scrimp when finding a professional to handle the property transfer. Choosing the right real estate attorney can turn a complex situation into a smooth transaction.

Instead of hiring the person who appears at the top of your real estate attorney internet search, take the time to interview a few attorneys in person and ask them these five questions:


You can find standard forms online, and attorney Rick Davis, based in Leawood, Kansas, suggests asking what the attorney offers above and beyond what is readily available. “If the attorney is simply filling in blanks on the standard real estate forms, they’re not providing much value to the homeowner, as they could do the same thing or have it done by a title company, assuming there is one,” he says. “The problem with standard forms is they’re written for standard transactions, and for-sale-by-owner sales generally aren’t standard transactions.”

Special situations, such as seller financing or unique terms, aren’t always included. “Irrelevant terms increase the likelihood of ambiguity in the contract, which can result in later issues,” Davis says. “An experienced real estate attorney should have their own forms and language for the unique characteristics of an individual sale. If the sale is routine enough for a standard form, the homeowner likely doesn’t need to hire an attorney for the transaction.”

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About the author

Rick Davis is an attorney with Levy Craig Law Firm in Kansas City Missouri. Rick's practice focuses primarily on the areas of real estate and construction law and he regularly represents parties in all facets of the real estate industry. His past and current clients include real estate investors, developers, brokers and agents, contractors, homeowners, lenders, and others in the real estate industry. He serves clients in both Kansas and Missouri. Mr. Davis is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the Missouri Bar, the American Bar Foundation, the American Bar Association Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section, and the Construction Lawyer Society of America. He graduated with his B.G.S. degree from the University of Kansas and earned his J.D. degree from Washburn University School of Law. Rick has received numerous awards, including an Martindale-Hubbel AV peer rating (the highest available) and being selected as a fellow to the American Bar Foundation. To schedule a consultation with Rick, call (816) 460-1819