Why Use A Real Estate Attorney, Instead Of Just A Closing Or Title Company?
If you’re thinking of buying a home, you may have seen ads for title companies or closing companies, promising to handle your closing. Of course, you also know many people use real estate attorneys, and making things more confusing, some title or closing companies are owned by attorneys.
All this may cause you some confusion—why get an attorney to help you with your closing, when there are title companies that can, seemingly, do the same thing?
Using a Title Company
Do not assume that every title company is owned by, or headed by an attorney—not all are, and they aren’t legally required to have any association with an attorney at all.
Title companies (that are not associated with an attorney) can help assist you in your closing; they can gather information, get needed documents, prepare what needs to be signed, and ensure whatever needs to be recorded or transferred to different entities, gets to where it needs to be.
But that’s the extent of what a closing company can do. They cannot give you legal advice, or handle unexpected problems that may arise. They cannot review your contracts and documents and explain to you the legal consequences of signing or not signing those documents.
Examples of How an Attorney Can Help
For example, let’s say there is a lien on the property you want to purchase. The title company can tell you there’s a lien, and how much it is.
But you may have other questions: Does the lien have to be paid? What if it is not? Can you force the seller to pay the lien? Can the lien’s validity be challenged? These are all questions that a lawyer can help you with—and if legal action is needed to clear the lien, or protect you from having to pay that lien, only an attorney, not a title company, can do that for you.
Very few real estate closings are routine. Problems come up, problems that can be handled, but which should be handled by an attorney.
The property may have a code violation. There may be a tenant in the property. There may be some problem with the chain of title on the property in the public records. You may want to buy the property furnished. There could be some problem found in the survey or inspection of the property.
Any or all of these could require separate documents, separate contracts, or even some kind of court action, to handle them—and even if they are not manageable, and if you should not buy that property, you would need an attorney, not a title company, to give you that advice.
Stick With attorneys in Your Real Estate Closing
You shouldn’t avoid using a title or closing company. It’s just best to make sure that whatever company you use, is headed, owned or staffed by an attorney that is representing you and protecting your interests.
Call the West Palm Beach real estate lawyers at The Law Offices of Larry E. Bray today for help with your real estate closing needs.