Reasons to Hire a Florida Real Estate Attorney for your Closing
Whether you are the buyer or the seller, you need protection during a real estate transaction. A title company can offer you some peace of mind, but it’s not enough. Some realtors will discourage consumers from hiring an attorney, but that’s because they are looking out for their own interests. The general reason a real estate agent won’t want an attorney involved is the potential for any legal issues to be raised that would slow down the deal. It’s important to understand that realtors in Florida are transactional agents and they do not represent either side nor do they have a duty to advocate for any particular side regarding the deal.
While realtors are required to disclose this, they still like to express opinions that you don’t need to seek an independent legal opinion. Many people retain attorneys when buying vacation or retirement property in other countries, why would you not want to protect your interests here in Florida? If you are looking to buy or sell property, contact a Florida real estate attorney who can help ensure your rights and investment are protected throughout the process.
Real Estate Attorneys Work for Their Clients
One of the main reasons to hire an attorney to represent your “legal” interests is because the title company workers for the title insurer, not for you. A real estate attorney works for whoever their client is. Once you retain an attorney, he or she will represent you throughout the process. Your attorney will look out for your interests and provide legal guidance as needed whereas the title company is primarily there to prepare basic closing documents that are needed by the insurer before the property title transfer can be completed. For instance, an attorney will review the underlying title documents and may insist that the title insurance underwriter remove an exception from the policy. A pure title agent will not do that. An attorney may know a way to avoid a seller having to pay off a lien on homestead property while a pure title agent would not have known the legal procedure to make that happen. An attorney is trained in contract law while a title agent is not, and there are other innumerable examples.
Title Agents Cannot Give Legal Advice
Because title agents did not attend law school or have valid licenses with the Florida Bar, they are prohibited from giving you or anyone else legal advice. What happens if legal problems arise or you have a specific legal question on how to proceed? Some of the more common issues that arise during real estate transactions include how to title the property. This is important because there can be tax implications. Your attorney can also answer questions related to the terms of the contract, whereas a title agent cannot.
Real Estate Attorney Costs are Similar to Title Agents
One of the reasons people hesitate on retaining an attorney for real estate transactions is due to financial fears. It may surprise you to learn that the cost of hiring a Florida real estate attorney for the protection of your legal interests is often comparable to a title agent. Florida law sets the standards for recording costs, title insurance premiums, and more. You may even save some money if your attorney also acts as your title agent.
Contact a Florida Real Estate Attorney Today
Retaining a West Palm Beach real estate attorney can help catch problems before they become major issues that derail your entire real estate transaction. He or she can address any problems with the sales contract, correct any title problems, and more. A title agent cannot. If you need assistance with a real estate transaction in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.