Providing quality ADA Defense, Business & Real Estate Services throughout the United States for over 40 years.

Your Premiere Real Estate Attorneys

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

We are often asked: Do I need a real estate broker or a lawyer or an attorney if I am buying or selling a home or real estate in California, with or without a real estate broker or agent? Do I need a lawyer or attorney to help with a for sale by owner sale?

The simple answer is that having the documents prepared and reviewed by a real estate attorney is the only safe way to buy or sell real estate. Selling a home in California for example, typically involves use of a complex agreement with multiple decisions to be made within the agreement (see for example the typical one shown below), plus a review of the escrow instructions and escrow amendments, plus 13 separate disclosure documents (not 13 discloses but 13 separate documents to be submitted, reviewed and signed if correct or agreed to).  What is more, the documents to be prepared or reviewed may include purchase agreements, offers, counteroffers, listing agreements, loan documents, and escrow instructions, and modifications, amendments, and addendums, as well as the 13 or more mandatory real estate disclosure documents and forms used in California real estate sales.

Real estate law and transactions are complex, and minor oversights can have significant consequences. Given the major increase in real estate sales in California, sales activity is happening quickly. This quick pace often means that complication, errors and major mistakes are occurring in the agreements, contracts, and escrow instructions for California real estate sales, especially the for sale by owner sales, done without lawyers, attorneys or real estate brokers. This is happening even in real estate broker- and agent-assisted transactions as well as for sale by owner (FSBO – FISBO) where a seller or a buyer is acting without a real estate broker or agent, and without a lawyer or attorney.

Clearly, buying real estate can be the largest investment in a person’s life, be it a home or commercial real estate. It generally is foolhardy to do without a California real estate attorney and lawyer. This is true of both broker- and agent-assisted real estate sales as well as for sale by owner California real estate sales and purchases proceeding without a real estate broker or attorney.

For the reasons mentioned above, buyers and sellers should not simply rely on real estate brokers and agents to prepare documents and provide advice on legal aspects of the transaction. A real estate broker is very helpful in finding a buyer or finding the right property, but they do not have the same training or experience as a real estate lawyer in the legal aspects of the transaction.

Our firm has provided advice and guidance in California for all real estate sales and escrows, for sale by owner sales, short sales and foreclosure matters, in both commercial and residential real estate transactions, as well as review and preparation of California purchase agreements, offers, counteroffers, disclosure documents, and escrow instructions, co-owner, tenant in common (TIC) agreements and disputes. We also handle partition lawsuits, specific performance, quiet title, easement, fence disputes and lis pendens filings

From reviews in Avvo and elsewhere our clients and other attorneys consider our firm to be top-rated and among the best California real estate lawyers and attorneys. When disputes arise, we have an active California litigation practice, including cases and lawsuits and arbitrations from breach of contract, specific performance, quiet title, lis pendens, nondisclosure, and fraud.


Our Fees

By using our firm to handle all the paperwork you will would save, for example, $90,000 on a $2 million dollar sale.  Our fees are only 1/5 of 1% of the sales price, with a minimum fee of $4,750.

Compare Rates


Broker Our Fee You Save
5% 1/2%* 4 1/2%
4% 1/2%* 3 1/2%

*  Subject to the minimum fee for small transactions


  • Sales price of $2 million – Broker fee of 5%** = $100,000 – Our fee = $10,000 – you save $90,000
  • Sales Price of $1,500,000 – Our fee = Broker Fee of 5%** = $75,000 – Our fee = $7,500 – you save $67,750
  • Sales Price of $1,000,000 Broker Fee of 5%** = $50,000 – Our Fee = $5,000 – you save $50,000

**Real estate agent fees are negotiable. These are just examples.

We also handle controversies when multiple parties own a parcel of property and cannot agree on the use or disposition of the real estate, or where one party fails to contribute.

The Karlin Law Firm LLP  will work with you on your home sale from the very first purchase offer until the close of escrow. This one-time fee includes purchase agreements, counteroffers, amendments, disclosure forms, working with escrow, reviewing escrow instructions, reviewing closing statements and any escrow amendments until the sale closes.

For experienced representation when you are involved in a residential or commercial real estate matter, contact us. We are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m, but we review emails at earlier and later times and over the weekend. Our California real estate attorneys and lawyers office in Tustin is centrally located off the 5 and 55 freeways, near the Orange County airport’s industrial market. Our California real estate attorneys and lawyers offices serving all of Orange County, including Newport Beach, with branch offices in San Diego, Los Angeles (Century City), Fresno, serving San Francisco and the East Bay Cities.