Four Things to Look for in a Florida Closing Attorney
Buying or selling a property is a big endeavor. For many individuals, families and businesses real estate transactions are the largest expenditures on the balance sheet. Making sure you have the right legal partner in the process to protect your investment is a must. If you are considering the purchase or sale of a property in South Florida, you will need a closing attorney you can trust. Let’s explore the four traits you will need to look for as you choose the right provider of this essential component of the real estate sales process.
Communication. Competence. Integrity. Transparency. These are all characteristics that make someone reliable. They also should be the traits you look for when you are seeking a good closing attorney for your house or commercial property.
You will need to rely on your attorney to coordinate the final steps of the sale including doing a review of all documents, examining the property’s deed, obtaining title insurance, and managing the financials.
You will need to ensure that the lawyer you select is one that you can rely on to get the job done.
To gauge the reliability of a lawyer, ask the lawyer to refer you to two or three of their recent closing clients and speak directly with them about the level of service they received. Were they able to depend on the attorney to their satisfaction throughout the transaction? If the answer is yes, then you are on your way to finding the right lawyer for your closing.
It’s vitally important that you seek a Florida-licensed attorney with real estate closing experience. Attorney’s who are highly competent in other practice areas cannot be expected to perform as you need them to in a real estate transaction. The lawyer who handled your divorce or filed your trademarks will not have the breadth of experience needed to ensure that your transaction can avoid the pitfalls that can occur in a real estate transaction. Furthermore, it is best to seek a lawyer who has experience closing real estate transactions in your county and who has experience with your specific type of property.
When checking the references of the attorney, be sure to check if they have worked in the county where your property is based. Also make sure that they have worked with similar types of properties.
Ability to Handle Title
A competent closing attorney should also be able to conduct a title search and secure title insurance for your property. A title search reveals “clouds” and encumbrances on the property. Perhaps a historical stake in the property is discovered (eg: the title is partially owned by the estate of a deceased person). Perhaps a lien has been placed on the property for an unpaid debt. According to Jeremy Yohe, spokesman for the American Land Title Association, “One out of every three searches reveals a title or public record defect that’s fixed before the transaction closes”. Seeking a lawyer that is a full-service title agency as well as a real estate specialty law firm means that they can conduct title search, clear-up clouded titles and work with the parties in the transaction to meet purchase agreement deadlines and close the deal.
A law firm that acts as both the closing attorney and the title agent also, usually, saves you money. It can be more affordable to use a qualified law firm alone rather than a title agency plus a law firm to support your real estate closing process.
“… it is best to seek a lawyer who has experience closing real estate transactions in your county and who has experience with your specific type of property.”
It is important to note that in the world of title services and real estate transactions, a larger-sized firm with more expensive hourly rates does not equate to that firm’s lawyers being better closing attorneys. Oftentimes, boutique law firms provide more competitive rates for superior closing services. This is due to the detailed nature of monitoring and managing the real estate closing process and the need to have the most experienced staff actively involved with every legal aspect of the transaction. Larger firms may sometimes outsource the detailed work of closing a real estate transaction (such as title search) to junior staff that might miss vital information through a lack of experience.
Larger fees also may cannibalize the proceeds from your transaction. So remember to seek out a reasonably priced law firm because “expensive” doesn’t mean “better” in the world of real estate law.
Closing Real Estate Transactions with South Florida Law PLLC
At South Florida Law, we are committed to helping our clients close real estate transactions. We help businesses and individuals buy and sell residential and or commercial properties ranging from single family homes to warehouses. In cases where it is necessary to navigate through obstacles in order to close on a transaction, we have the big firm resources to dedicate the time and effort where it is needed. At the same time, we provide personalized service and attention to detail in your case at a price point that can only be achieved with a boutique firm of our size. Are you planning to buy or sell in Miami, the Keys, Broward or Palm Beach County? Are you looking for a closing attorney you can rely on? Call South Florida Law today on (954) 900-8885 or reach out to us via our contact form.