Buying or selling a home can be incredibly stressful. It is a sizable investment and having someone to represent your interests can be helpful. A Real Estate Closing Attorney is worth every penny and, in some cases, can save you quite a few.
What is a Real Estate Closing Attorney?
If you are not all about reading the fine print, a Real Estate Closing Attorney is an absolute must. These professionals keep the closing on track by organizing and preparing documents and contracts. Keeping everyone moving forward can require focus, and your Real Estate Attorney is consistently working for you.
If you don’t know what is involved in a closing, it can be a daunting process. The piles of paperwork can be intimidating and understanding the intent and purpose of each is best left to a professional. Let the professional keep it all straight and you’ll never have to worry about clauses and conditions hidden in the fine print.
What is the Difference Between a Title and a Deed?
Understanding the basics isn’t as easy as knowing the difference between a title and a deed. It’s knowing how to assess the details of each and making sure you are getting what you expected from your financial investment. A title isn’t so much a piece of paper as it is a bundle of rights. A deed is the physical piece of paper you hold at the end of a closing, stating you are the property owner.
5 Rights of Title
- Right of Possession
- Right of Control
- Right of Exclusion
- Right of Enjoyment
- Right of Disposition
Your rights can vary depending on what is disclosed in your closing documents. For example, if you just bought your dream home on the water, are you aware of your riparian rights? Your Real Estate Closing Attorney is and will explain them to you to make sure they meet your expectations before you finalize your purchase.
The deed is the paper that states you own the property, however, there could be deed restrictions, for example, in a deed-restricted community. In these communities, a homeowners association (HOA) may issue restrictive covenants for all homeowners to follow. These restrictions can include but are not limited to color choices for the outside of your home, exterior dwellings, fencing, and even tree addition or removal.
Thinking about enhancing the property with a screened-in pool or small basketball court for the kids to make it feel like home sweet home? Deed restrictions are binding and can only be changed by the HOA that created them. Let your Closing Attorney review these documents and avoid surprises (and potential fines!) in the future.
How Can a Real Estate Attorney Help Me with a Title?
Before you can get to closing, the property you are buying must have a clear title. A Closing Attorney thoroughly reviews the title for any defects that can prevent you from finalizing your purchase. Also, having the same attorney handling your closing and title defects can keep costs down and expedite the closing process.
3 Common Costly Mistakes
- Unknown restrictions in the mortgage
- Property use
- Properly deeding the property
1. A Real Estate Closing Attorney reviews the mortgage for potential usage issues.
Not all mortgages are the same. The lender may require certain restrictions on the use of the property. Without a full review by a Closing Attorney, you may not know what you agreed to by signing the mortgage documents. For example, your mortgage may have restrictions on renting the property for a certain number of years. If you intended to use the house as a secondary property for additional income, that could be a barrier to closing.
2. Surveys and prior property use are bigger issues than you would think.
When you are purchasing an existing home, prior owners may have failed to follow survey lines when placing permanent or moveable structures, including pools and fencing. You can inherit prior complaints and even code enforcement issues without realizing these defects exist. A Real Estate Closing Attorney can review the property lines, prior permit issues, and any other defects that are outstanding before you take possession of the property.
3. If the house is part of your legacy, you want to deed it properly.
There is a difference between deeding a house in your name or to a trust. If you want the home to benefit future generations, seeking the advice of a Real Estate Attorney is a vital addition to your aging plan. Your attorney can help you understand the benefits of avoiding probate and whether to deed your house to a revocable or irrevocable trust.
Fun Fact About Real Estate
Did you know that an estimated 90% of all millionaires invest in some form of real estate? In fact, some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world have built their wealth through real estate. With housing prices continually rising and high mortgage rates, real estate is an excellent long-term investment to help you earn money for retirement.
You can be sure that these millionaires did not happen upon their wealth without the watchful eyes of a Real Estate Attorney looking over all documents and protecting them in each investment. While you may not have plans of investing at a millionaire level, your real estate investment is important. Hire someone who cares as much as you do about your success.
How Do I Hire a Real Estate Attorney?
A local, reputable Real Estate Attorney will provide you with the best advice as you go through the closing process. If you aren’t familiar with local closing attorneys, ask friends in your social circle and read online reviews. When the time comes for you to hire a real estate attorney, meet them in person – choose a professional that you will feel comfortable with and who treats you with respect.