LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Roy David Oppenheim | Mar 31, 2019

Can A Real Estate Lawyer Represent The Buyer And Seller? | Roy Oppenheim Real Estate Attorney

Video: Can A Real Estate Lawyer Represent The Buyer And Seller?

FAQ’s With Roy Oppenheim

Full Transcript: A question we sometimes get is, “Can a real estate lawyer represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction?” Lawyers are governed by rules of ethics that are promulgated by, first by the American Bar Association, and then by each state; they have specific rules that they have to follow. And typically, if you are representing two parties that have different interests in the transaction, you would need what’s called a Conflict Waiver.

Conflicts: Can A Real Estate Lawyer Represent The Buyer And Seller?

Some conflicts can be waived, some cannot. So for example, you can’t be both the prosecutor trying to put someone in jail and also be defending that person. I mean, that’s an irreconcilable conflict that anyone can understand. At the same time, if you have a buyer who is trying to get a property cheap and you have a seller who is trying to get the most money on their property…

You know, a real estate lawyer is not a broker. They’re not trying to necessarily bring the parties together. They’re supposed to advocate zealously for each particular client. There could be some unique circumstances, maybe in a family matter where there’s a buyer and a seller and they just want to transfer the property and you’re acting as a middle man and you don’t have those adverse interests, they probably still would have to sign a conflicts letter.

But under those circumstances, you could have a transfer from a father to a son or to a daughter or to a wife. And you technically may have a buyer and a seller, but they’re not arm’s-length transactions. So if they’re not really arm’s-length transactions, then you get a Conflict Waiver, the interest, under those circumstances maybe the lawyer could represent both parties. But in a traditional, typical transaction of a buyer and a seller that’s arm’s-length and they don’t know each other and they don’t have a relationship, the answer is probably no.

They probably should not be representing both parties.

Oppenheim Law | Real Estate Attorneys 2500 Weston Rd #404 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331 954-280-4651

Originally posted on Oppenheim Law: https://www.oppenheimlaw.com/news-resources/videos/can-real-estate-lawyer-represent-buyer-seller/ (Can A Real Estate Lawyer Represent The Buyer And Seller?)

Additional resources provided by the author

About Roy: Roy Oppenheim is a sought-after legal expert on issues relating to real estate. In 2009, he started the South Florida Law Blog to address the real estate market and foreclosure crisis. The Blog has been voted the best business and technology blog by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Mr. Oppenheim has been a contributor to Yahoo! Homes, featured on HuffPost Live, FOX News, and Lifetime TV, and quoted in prominent national publications, including USA Today, The New York Times and Huffington Post. Most recently, Mr. Oppenheim hosted an Ask Me Anything on Real Estate on Reddit. Mr. Oppenheim has also co-authored two law review articles: Deconstructing The Black Magic of Securitized Trusts, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Mr. Oppenheim founded Oppenheim Law, one of South Florida’s leading boutique law firms in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1989 with his wife Ellen Pilelsky, and, in 1994, he co-founded Weston Title & Escrow, a trusted South Florida real estate title company whose multilingual staff provides personal, concierge style service in the areas of real estate closings, title insurance, title searches and escrow services. Weston Title: https://westontitle.com/

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