What is a closing attorney?
A closing attorney, also known as a real estate attorney, is a lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions.
They are responsible for overseeing the closing process, which is the final step in buying or selling a property.
Closing attorneys prepare and review closing documents, conduct title searches, disburse funds, handle escrow, and provide legal advice and guidance to both the buyer and seller.
Who does the closing attorney represent?
In a real estate transaction, either the buyer or seller can hire a closing attorney to represent their interests.
Alternatively, a closing attorney can act as a dual agent, representing both parties.
In this case, the attorney is responsible for ensuring that the closing process is fair and equitable for both sides.
Who chooses the closing attorney?
The selection of a closing attorney typically varies by location.
In some states, the buyer is responsible for choosing the closing attorney, while in other states, the seller is responsible.
In some cases, the buyer and seller may agree to mutually select a closing attorney.
Why Should You Hire a Closing Attorney?
Hiring a closing attorney can provide several benefits, including:
- Ensuring that the closing process is conducted smoothly and efficiently. Closing attorneys are experts in real estate law and procedures. They can help to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is completed correctly and that all of the parties involved are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
- Protecting your interests. Closing attorneys can help protect your interests by reviewing the closing documents carefully and by negotiating on your behalf if necessary.
- Identifying and resolving any potential problems Closing attorneys can help to identify and resolve any potential problems with the transaction, such as title issues or outstanding liens.
- Providing peace of mind. The closing process can be complex and stressful. Hiring a closing attorney can give you peace of mind, knowing that your interests are being protected and that the process is being handled by a qualified professional.
When Should You Hire a Closing Attorney?
It is advisable to hire a closing attorney for any real estate transaction, regardless of its complexity.
However, hiring a closing attorney is especially important in the following situations:
- You are buying or selling property in a different town, state, or country.
- You are buying or selling property with significant issues, such as structural damage or title problems.
- You are selling property as part of a divorce settlement.
- You are attempting to sell property under a mortgage due to financial difficulties.
- You are buying real estate involved in a special sale, such as an estate sale.
How to Choose a Closing Attorney
When choosing a closing attorney, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Experience and expertise. Choose an attorney who has experience handling real estate transactions in your area.
- Reputation. Ask friends, family, and other real estate professionals for recommendations.
- Fees. Be sure to ask about the attorney’s fees before you hire them.
Hiring a closing attorney can be a smart investment, especially if you are buying or selling your first home or if the transaction is complex.
Closing attorneys can help to ensure that the closing process goes smoothly and that your interests are protected.