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Be very careful when trying to sell your own home

Real estate advice for the DIY type.

A 'For Sale By Owner' sign is posted in front of an existing single-family residence for sale October 4, 2006 in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

A 'For Sale By Owner' sign is posted in front of an existing single-family residence for sale October 4, 2006 in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Q: I am considering selling my house and I hear that the market is really hot and I could probably do it myself.   What do I need to know legally to take on this task and what should I avoid?

A: I want to first state that nothing can replace the knowledge and marketing savvy of a qualified realtor. Having someone negotiate on your behalf also cannot go unnoticed. 

However, if you are planning on going it alone you had better have your lawyer prepared to assist you with the contract and you need to hone your negotiating skills. 

It is hard for me as a practicing lawyer to give advice to a vendor in a timely manner when I have a number of current files that need to be attended to. There are a number of available pro forma contracts out there that can help you move your sale forward, but you still need a legal begal to look over the final contract before you sign on the dotted line. Be very careful and be well informed.

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