Retired Lawyers

Real Estate Agent with Preferred Properties Key West

Trues Story:  I wrote a blog about trying to sell a house listed by a Realtor who was also a retired lawyer. She had to lawyer-up the deal so much my buyer decided to forgo the house he loved and settle on another place just to get peace of mind. He was later shot to death inside that house. I blame the former lady lawyer-real estate agent as much as the guy that pulled the trigger.

I have sold several homes to sitting judges, practicing attorneys, and retired lawyers. I don't recall any of them trying to lawyer-up an offer I wrote. They tend to be cautious and check the numbers, decimal points, spelling, and dates to make sure I get the important things right. (So do most people.)

Every now and then a buyer has a family member or even a partner who is a retired lawyer from another state who offers to get involved in reviewing a contract. I think the retired lawyers think they may know more about selling or buying a house than local Realtors. Some offer lengthy revisions to contract forms with all kinds of legalese to protect the family member from the other party, the real estate agents, the inspectors, the surveyors, and others who may be tangentially involved in the purchase and sale of property. In short, they muddle.

Our real estate contracts are referred to as FARBAR FORMS. They are created in cooperation between the Florida Bar Association and the Florida Association of Realtors. The contract forms are updated twice annually to keep current with revisions to state and or federal law. Realtors are permitted to fill in the blanks and are not practicing law without a license. 

I recently spoke with a fellow agent about retired lawyers from far away states offering to help me do my job. She said "Retired lawyers come to Florida to practice the law that they are best at - malpractice. "








Comments (6)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I also bet some of the attorneys who have reviewed and attempted to change the contracts were not even real estate attorneys. Which makes it even more difficult.

I've done real estate in an attorney state (NY) and in a non-attorney state (MT). I MUCH prefer the non-attorney state.

Enjoy your day!

Apr 18, 2021 05:07 AM
Bill Salvatore - YVP Blog
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - Valley of the Sun /


We here this so often.  A laeyer comes in and mucks up the procedure.  Maybe Shakespere was on to something? Have a wonderful Sunday, and enjoy.  Thanks for the post.  Bill Salvatore 

Apr 18, 2021 05:22 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Gary. As a retired lawyer with Florida real estate experience, I could not agree more! ENjoy your day!

Apr 18, 2021 05:43 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Dealing with anyone that thinks they know more about something than a professional in a field that is different than theirs is no fun.

Apr 18, 2021 05:52 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Gary - Practice and Practice.  Sometimes after years of practice there is still no perfection.   I am sorry to learn about your client who met an unfortunate end.  

Apr 18, 2021 05:55 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Gary - oops - I meant to say - not sometimes but there are no number of years of practice that result in perfection.  

Apr 18, 2021 05:57 AM

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