Skip to main content

Real Estate Law

Search for an Attorney  

Closing Attorneys

Purchasing real estate is a challenging and complicated process. From the time an offer is placed to the moment escrow is closed, the parties have to engage in the arduous process of reviewing paperwork and conducting a legal review of various contracts. Using a closing attorney can streamline the process by ensuring that no stone is left unturned in large and potentially complex transactions.

A real estate closing lawyer or law firm can provide legal advice to home buyers and sellers regarding real property issues, real estate contracts, land use, and zoning laws. Property laws are different in every state, so it can be a good idea to contact a closing attorney is a real estate attorney in your area to answer your legal questions about closing on a property.

What Is a Closing Attorney?

By supervising the closing of the real estate transaction, a closing attorney or real estate lawyer can ensure that the deal is legally compliant with applicable real estate laws. Important requirements, such as risk disclosures, due diligence paperwork, and waiver of contingencies must be properly completed before the parties can close escrow. By having a closing attorney on your side, you can ensure that all aspects of the sale are correctly handled.

What Does a Closing Attorney Do?

A closing attorney’s legal services include a review of the purchase agreement to ensure that both sides to the transaction are receiving a fair deal. When it comes to a home purchase, the purchase price is not the only factor in the transaction. An attorney can review all terms involving financing, escrow, zoning, and inspections to ensure that each side can finalize the sale successfully.

Reviewing the Purchase Agreement

The buyer to a purchase transaction may have reserved contingencies that must be addressed before closing. This includes securing financing through a reputable lender, conducting successful inspections, and reviewing all important disclosures prior to the real estate closing phase. A closing attorney can monitor the home sale to ensure these contingencies are fair to both sides while preserving the rights of a buyer who is on their way to purchasing a home for the first time.

Due Diligence on Title

A closing attorney can ensure that the title to the property is clear of any encumbrances. For example, if a seller’s residence is burdened with a mechanic’s lien or an unpaid bank loan, a closing attorney can conduct a title search to make sure these debts are settled before the transaction is finalized.

A seller may also lack credible title to a property because of missing records or errors in the title index. A closing attorney’s review of property records can serve to protect the parties by making sure no title issues will come up at the time of closing.

As part of conducting due diligence on the title to the home, a closing attorney can also assist a title company with getting title insurance for the property. The title company will want to know whether any issues affecting title can pose a risk to the transaction. If an attorney is able to address the potential risks, the parties to the transaction can work with the title insurance company to obtain an appropriate title insurance policy.

Resolving Property Transfer Disputes

The presence of an attorney can also help resolve disputes that might come up between the buyer and seller. The buyer or seller may notify the escrow company that there is a dispute and the purchase funds should be frozen until the problem is resolved. A closing attorney can help resolve potential legal issues by mediating the conflict and allowing the transaction to continue, to close the transaction.

When Hiring a Closing Attorney

Hiring a closing attorney can add to the cost of a real estate transaction. Some attorneys may provide a free consultation across multiple real estate practice areas, and others may be able to review paperwork for a flat fee.

In some cases, paying for a closing attorney can save you money. Having the benefit of a legal professional on your side could mean avoiding critical errors that could seriously hurt the purchase transaction. In some cases, there could be legal defects in the property transaction records that do not reveal themselves until much later, causing significant long-term damage.

Your real estate agent may not be able to handle more complex property law issues like an experienced law office. Talk to a residential real estate attorney in your area about a property closing and how they can help you avoid property problems down the road.