I will say first that even though the title of this post includes the word "legal," I am not offering legal advice. I am not an attorney; I am a Realtor. If you'd like legal advice, I recommend speaking with an attorney.
The issues I will discuss here are things we, as Realtors, deal with regularly and can certainly counsel our clients on a reasonable path forward and normally problems can be avoided. Again, an attorney is the best person to provide legal advice.
So, with that said, here are two common mistakes sellers make and "almost" make:
1. Accepting a buyer's offer just because it's a high or "right" price without regard to other contractual terms. Keep in mind there are many things to consider when evaluating an offer from a buyer. Things like the type of financing, inspections, contingency periods, down payment, deposit, closing costs, escrow period and closing date are all things that should be considered by sellers when reviewing an offer. The offer is not just the "price"... it's many things. And while the price is certainly important, your Realtor can advise on how to evaluate the offer in its "entirety" (all terms and conditions) and not solely on price.
2. Not providing the buyer the legally-required disclosures. There are certain forms and documents, referred to collectively as "disclosures," that are required in a real estate transaction. Other documents may be recommended, but not requried. Disclosures inform the buyers what is "known" by the sellers about the property that could affect its value and/or desireability. This is one area where having a competent and experienced Realtor is critically important since your Realtor can advise and guide you on which documents are required and how to complete them. Failing to disclose certain things could put the seller at legal risk. Sellers should take their time reading and completing the disclosures to ensure they provide the buyers what they need to know about the property.
I was going to include a few other issues in this article, but I realize this is enough for now. I can't stress enough how important it is to ensure your Realtor understands these and other issues relating to a real estate purchase transaction. And, as said previously, if you need legal advice, an attorney is your best resource.