People often ask whether they should have an attorney when they are buying or selling a house. Buying a home is the largest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. The legal consequences from mistakes or omissions during the buying process can cause major headaches. That factor alone makes it advisable to have an attorney assist you with the purchase of your home.
You will also be required by your lender to purchase title insurance for your property, which is an insurance policy that covers your ownership interest and the mortgage interest of your lender. Title insurance protects real estate owners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property. You have the option and the right to use either an attorney or a title company of your choosing in order to obtain title insurance and to assist you in completing the purchase of the home. The cost of title insurance is set by the state, and varies based upon the purchase price of the house. The cost of retaining a real estate attorney is the same as a non-lawyer title agency, because only a single fee will be due. There is no additional charge for the attorney’s assistance.
An attorney can provide a level of legal expertise that most non-legal title agencies are not in a position to offer. While it may seem like a simple process, conducting a real estate closing is a complicated matter and requires a thorough knowledge of the law. Even before settlement, there must be an examination of the title records for prior conveyances, unpaid mortgages, liens, judgments, easements, and other encumbrances and clouds on title. One must ensure that the seller has the authority to convey a good title to the property and that no errors exist in the deeds in the chain of title.
At settlement, the parties must sign and deliver all necessary documents simultaneously with the payment of the purchase price and the settlement costs of the transaction. The Buyer normally will sign all of the many loan documents required by the lender as part of the financing the purchase. Only an experienced professional, one who is closely familiar with the process and the numerous documents involved, should be assisting you.
Attorney Carr is an Agent for Stewart Title. Stewart is one of the largest and oldest providers of title insurance in the United States. Thus, by using Attorney Carr for the purchase of your home, you will have not only an experienced real estate attorney assisting you, but also one of the most secure title insurance companies protecting your property.
Selling a home is a little less complicated. Typically, an attorney will prepare your deed by which you will transfer title to the home. But the attorney can also attend settlement with you and ensure that everything connected with settlement occurs properly. However, unless there are pre-settlement problems that are not resolved by the time of settlement, it is probably not critical that an attorney attends settlement with you. As long as you receive the proceeds of sale to which you are entitled, there is no overwhelming need to have counsel attend the settlement with you.
Call Attorney Carr or his paralegal, Deb Click, more information regarding representation at your real estate closing.