Q: I am helping my mother-in-law sell her property. We do not have an agent and nor does the buyer have an agent. This sale is just within our circle so we did not have a need for an agent.

Should I hire an attorney to do all the paperwork or can I do the all the paperwork needed for a sale by myself?

Also one more thing is that the house is mortgage-free. If I sell without an attorney or an agent can you suggest some of the places that I can get the information from.

Thanks a lot for all your time and help.

A: I strongly urge you to hire a real estate attorney to handle the sale. There may be title issues (including purchasing of title insurance) and many state requirements, including required seller disclosures, that the attorney will know how to handle. Doing these things incorrectly could put you in legal jeopardy. The attorney will also make sure the paperwork is done in a way that protects you legally.

A house is typically the single biggest asset an individual has. Selling it correctly is very important.

For a list of items and issues you need to handle, check out your state’s real estate department. For example, the California Department of Real Estate publishes a guide to selling a house that might be helpful if you lived in that state.