What does a closing attorney do?
Closing attorneys draft, review and organize documents in support of the sale or purchase of a property. They work with their clients to achieve optimal results in terms of timing, costs and risk. In addition to being involved with the process leading up to the day a property changes hands from seller to buyer, a closing attorney is always physically present at the closing of a real estate transaction.
Typical tasks done by the real estate closing attorney include:
- Draft and Review Documents
Real estate closing attorney’s are the only advisors to a real estate transaction that may advise buyers and sellers to be aware of potential legal matters. To do so, closing attorneys review the mortgage loan document, the land survey, deed, title insurance forms, and all other paperwork related to the transaction.
While reviewing these documents, the closing attorney proposes revisions that reduce their clients liability, correct vague, inaccurate or ambiguous language.
- Manage Deadlines
Once a transaction is pending, all parties are subject to a strict timeline in which certain actions need to take place by specific times. Real estate closing attorneys ensure these deadlines are met and thus avoid penalties, extra costs or other consequences which may jeopardize the transaction.
- Proactively Tackle Challenges
A good closing attorney identifies pitfalls early on in the buying process, whether these are zoning issues, required repairs, ownership disputes, easements, usage rights or clouds to the title of a property.
Early recognition and resolution of issues means a smooth closing.
Who chooses the closing attorney in Florida?
Florida law does not stipulate which side of a transaction is required to pay for title services or a closing attorney. There are customs however that may dictate convention depending on where the transaction takes place. For example, in Miami Dade and Broward Counties, the buyer usually selects the title company and pays the premium. In Palm Beach County, the seller typically chooses the title insurance company and pays for the lender’s title insurance.
Despite these conventions in each county, who pays for the closing attorney is a negotiable term. Each party may also opt to pay for their own attorney and they may also agree to split the fees for title services.
Closing attorney vs title agent, what’s the difference?
A title company is an insurance agent that works for the insurance company that is underwriting the title insurance. The service they provide to the insurance company is to ensure that there are no clouds on the title that could create a risk for the insurer. Title insurance companies cannot give legal advice, draft or review legal documents and typically do not negotiate on the part of individual parties to a transaction.
By contrast, a closing attorney works for the seller, buyer or lender in a real estate transaction. Since they provide their services to a party to the transaction, they look out for the best interests of that party. Attorneys are legally permitted to give legal advice, draft and review legal documents and can negotiate on the part of the party they represent.
Many times, as is the case with South Florida Law, the real estate closing law firm is also a title agency. In this case, the client benefits from both services under one roof, often for a comparable price.
Are closing attorneys required by law in Florida?
In Florida, there are no legal requirements to hire a real estate closing lawyer. It is, however, highly advisable to prevent expenses, liability and resolve challenges so that the transaction goes smoothly.
“Title insurance companies cannot give legal advice, draft or review legal documents and typically do not negotiate on the part of individual parties to a transaction.”
South Florida Law
South Florida law is a full-service real estate closing law firm that can support both residential and commercial closings. In addition to being a closing attorney, South Florida law is also a title insurance agency. This makes South Florida Law a one-stop shop for all of your real estate transaction needs.
South Florida Law, specializes in conducting title searches on the part of buyers and lenders to ensure the smoothest transaction possible.
Our attorneys have years of experience in handling real estate closing-related matters to facilitate successful real estate transactions. Having our attorneys at your side in a residential or commercial property transaction gives you the advantage of proactive legal protection.
If you are looking for a real estate closing attorney or a title insurance agency, call us today at (954) 900-8885 or reach out to us via our contact form.