How an Attorney Can Help in Closing
If you’re planning to purchase property in Florida, one of the many decisions you’ll need to make is whether to hire an attorney to help with the closing. Florida doesn’t require an attorney to oversee real estate sales, so buyers have the option of proceeding without ever having an attorney involved in the transaction. However, this approach has many pitfalls.
Florida allows attorneys to serve as title underwriters—meaning that like a title company, they can also issue title insurance and hold escrow—and there are many benefits to hiring an attorney-backed title company for your real estate closing. Non-attorney title companies are limited in the type of services that they can provide for customers. Essentially, all that a standard title company can do is issue a title insurance policy and prepare the documents required for a title commitment, such as deeds, mortgages, and releases. These companies are prohibited from drafting anything other than what is absolutely necessary for the title insurance policy to be issued.
Real estate closing attorneys, on the other handle, can also prepare any other documents that are necessary to move forward with the sale (for example, contract amendments, occupancy agreements, and bills of sale for personal property being transferred with the house). Rather than the standardized forms that one might obtain from a real estate agent, attorneys can draft documents that are tailored to the buyer’s specific needs.
Another major benefit of working with an attorney when closing on a house is that he or she can represent the buyer in negotiations with the seller. The attorney can also provide valuable legal advice throughout the entire process. This might include:
- Discussing the pros and cons of the various types of ownership and deeds
- Explaining the potential impact of an existing building or municipal code violation
- Identifying issues in any underlying litigation (for example, a divorce or foreclosure) that could put the buyer at risk
- Explaining how to incorporate the new property into the buyer’s existing estate planning documents
- Counseling the buyer on how to draft a lease or form a corporation so that they can rent out the new property
Non-attorney title companies aren’t allowed to advise clients on these matters, and would actually be considered to be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law if they were to do so.
Won’t an Attorney Cost More?
Even knowing all of the benefits that a real estate attorney can offer during a house closing, many purchasers are still hesitant to retain an attorney because they assume that it will cost more than a standard title company. That’s actually not the case. Because the State of Florida sets title insurance rates by statute, attorneys don’t have the option to charge a higher amount. Plus, attorneys and title companies tend to charge approximately the same amount for closing and settlement fees.
The Real Estate Closing Attorneys to Choose in Pasco & Hernando Counties
If you’re interested in pursuing an attorney-backed real estate closing, you can turn to the skilled team at The Lyons Law Group, P.A. We’ve been in business since 2008, and we take pride in assisting clients with every aspect of the real estate closing process, start to finish. Plus, with offices in New Port Richey and Spring Hill, we’re a convenient choice for clients throughout Pasco and Hernando Counties.
Contact The Lyons Law Group, P.A., today to request a free initial consultation at the office location that’s most convenient for you.