The Role of the Closing Attorney: Q&A with Nima Ajabshir
Having a closing attorney to help you in the residential or commercial real estate buying or selling process can be a great help. Nima Ajabshir, Managing Partner of South Florida law explains in this short interview:
Q: What does a closing attorney do?
Nima Ajabshir, Esq.: A competent real estate closing attorney is a transaction facilitator. The first thing that an attorney does is liaise with lenders, representing the buyer, ensuring that the parties to the transaction are compliant with the lender’s instructions. Secondly, the closing attorney reviews and helps draft the closing documentation that is signed by both buyer and seller, (the property’s Deed, Bill of Sale and Closing Affidavits). Thirdly, attorneys provide the escrow account, coordinating payment between seller and buyer, the title insurance company, inspection company, surveyor and lender. The closing attorney also makes sure that the mortgage and other necessary documents are recorded in the appropriate county’s public land records; and, finally, makes sure the title insurance policy is properly issued post-closing.
Q: Do buyers and sellers need a closing attorney in Florida?
NA: While it is not required by law for buyers and sellers to retain an attorney, it is highly recommended. For many, selling or buying a house is one of the largest transactions in the lifetime of the people involved. Having a competent and experienced real estate lawyer guide you through the process is a good way to make sure that the process goes smoothly and that your investment is protected.
Q: Do Florida real estate agents need a closing attorney?
NA: Every Florida real estate agent should have a close working relationship with a real estate attorney. Realtors, real estate agents and title agents are not allowed to give any legal advice, legal guidance or legal opinions unless they are also an attorney licensed to practice in Florida. This is both a legal requirement as well as one of professional ethics. Agents can, however, recite the legal requirements of the transaction without interpretation.
This is referred to as providing legal information as opposed to legal advice. It is recommended that agents retain a competent real estate lawyer to determine what actions may be crossing the fine line between legally reciting legal concepts related to the transaction and attempting to interpret them. In cases where a legal opinion is required, then having an attorney involved ahead of time can make the process more efficient.
“A competent real estate closing attorney is a transaction facilitator.”
Q: What are the benefits of a closing attorney over a title agency?
NA: The two are not comparable in terms of the service they provide. First of all, lawyers and title agents differ in terms of who they represent. Lawyers represent their client (usually the buyer or seller in a real estate transaction) while title agents are representatives of a title insurance company.
At South Florida law, we are both a real estate law firm and a licensed title insurance company, giving our client’s the best of both worlds.
Q: What costs more a closing attorney or a title agency?
NA: The pricing is comparable, but you get more services (document review, escrow account, representation to the lender, etc) from the real estate attorney than you would from the title agent.
Q: What role does the closing attorney play in commercial real estate?
NA: Commercial Real Estate contracts can be very complex. Zoning considerations, the possibility of tax debt liens and other potential clouds on the title can make an otherwise straightforward transaction very challenging. Besides title issues and zoning there are other considerations such as whether the transaction is a freehold purchase or a long-term leasehold. Navigating all of these issues is much easier with a legal advocate that is experienced in local commercial real estate.
Call South Florida Law
Are you a business or individual looking to purchase commercial or residential real estate? Make sure you know the history of the property in question to ensure a smooth and fair transaction. Take proactive measures and conduct a commercial title search through South Florida Law. Nima Ajabshir, Managing Partner of South Florida Law, is a registered Title Agent as well as a Real Estate Attorney. This gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to title search, clearing titles and successfully completing your commercial real estate or residential real estate transaction. Reach out to South Florida Law at (945) 900-8885 or via our contact form.