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Home Buyer

Q: I read your article on using real estate attorneys in residential closings. What a bunch of drivel. I have handled tens of thousands, if not over 200,000 closings, settlements and escrows in all 50 states since 1996 and have found the greatest costs are always in states where we had to use attorneys.

Q: Home inspections and the inspectors who perform them remain a popular topic for our readers. Last year, we published a column from a woman who wanted to know if it was OK to buy a property that had been updated although the sellers did the work without having pulled the proper permits. We suggested using a professional home inspector to give her a sense of whether the updates had been made properly.

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Reader comment: My husband and I sold a vacant lot in Texas this past year without any agents being involved. We have followed the market closely. We agreed on a price, filled out the documents and closed in an attorney’s office for a total cost of $250. We also purchased our present home in 2007 without a real estate agent.

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Reader comment: You recently answered a question about a home seller paying the commission to an agent for a “pocket listing.” You bypass the larger issue and the reason that so-called pocket listings are against the National Association of Realtor (NAR) rules. “Pocket listings” are against Fair Housing rules. You should put an addendum to your answer addressing that issue.

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