Can a buyer and seller use the same attorney if both parties trust each other the the value of the real estate is very small.

Asked on November 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, they can sue the same attorney, so long as the potential conflict of interest is described in detail to both parties and they both sign agreements acknowledging that they are aware of the conflict and risk and nonetheless agree to it.

It is, however, very unwise. Even with buyers and sellers who know and like each other, there is too much potential for a problem: after all, their interests are diametrically, or directly opposed, in many regards: the sellers wants the highest price, the buyer the lowest; the seller wants to have as few contingencies as possible, the buyer may need certain contingencies on the sale; each wants the other to assume more of the risk if something goes wrong; they may differ on the timing of closing; etc. Each party should definitely get his or her own attorney.


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