As I noted in my last blog post, Buying Property in Vermont, some states do not require or use an attorney, but Vermont does. That blog discussed why buyers should retain the advice of an attorney. This blog gives the sellers perspective on why an attorney is important.
Sellers need an attorney to prepare the new warrantee deed and the property tax return form, and if necessary, to provide assistance if and when there are any title issues that need to be cleared up prior to the sale of a property.
Sellers should be aware that if they are nonresidents there may be a withholding fee of 2.5%, unless a withholding certificate is issued.
If you are selling land and you have not owned it for more than six years, there is a land gains tax, and it is sizeable in the first year of ownership. The rate reduces every year until six years go by, at which point there is no land gains tax.
There are also ACT 250 regulations if a property has been subdivided. Documentation must be provided to buyers in advance of the closing.
With so many details to consider, I, as a realtor, often reflect on the wise advice my father gave years ago: “Why would you ever purchase or sell something as important as real estate without good legal advice?”