Let’s face it, purchasing a home or property is an expensive decision. Probably one of the largest financial transactions you will make during your lifetime. As such, having an attorney with experience in the matter can potentially save you thousands of dollars. What does a real estate closing lawyer do? Is this a necessary part of the transaction? Keep reading to find out some of the assets an experienced real estate closing lawyer can deliver.
Choosing a Real Estate Closing Lawyer
Perhaps you already have a name on hand of someone who was recommended or you have worked with a real estate closing lawyer in the past. However, if this is your first purchase or if you are in a new city, simply ask your lending bank or your realtor for a recommendation.
Meet with the lawyer and see how you feel. Many firms offer a free consultation. While it may be tempting to rush into a recommended office with your paperwork, it is important to ensure you trust this individual. Closing sale time can be hectic and rushed. Multiple appointments are usually occurring with the home inspection, bank, house insurance and realtor. Have a list of any questions you have written down or punch them into the “Notes” feature on your cell phone.
The lawyer you want to work with will be happy to answer any of your questions and concerns. No question is too silly or small. After all, they may work with this paperwork on a daily basis but you probably don’t. Therefore, your questions are valid and should be welcomed.
Benefits Of Having a Reputable Lawyer
There are pages and pages of legal documents that come alongside any property transaction. These can be tricky to decipher for the average person. Having someone looking out for your best interests is crucial to ensure you are getting what you pay for and not a bunch of extra things you never knew about.
For instance, is part of your property on a creek, crown land or close to a nature ravine? Some properties have environmental protection plans included on certain parts of the property. You are not allowed to build retaining walls, plant trees or remove existing ones etc. for fear of disrupting the stream or removing some species of protected forest that could be home to an endangered bird, reptile or insect.
Having all of the legal aspects of your purchase outlined before you sign on the dotted line will protect you from potential fines down the road if you want to build that shed or plant that hedge. Your lawyer will be able to read all of the information and translate it to you in a way you understand.
Estimate On Legal Costs
During your initial meeting or telephone call, ask the attorney to describe their fee structure and provide you with an estimate of what your legal fees will look like upon closing. Be sure to budget accordingly and take these fees into account.
Protecting Yourself and Your Purchase
There can be a myriad of issues to take into consideration any time property transfers ownership between individuals. Some of the things that can come up unexpectedly include:
- Zoning legislation
- Unpaid property taxes that need to be addressed prior to the purchase
- Government legislation
Reading Through the Fine Print
What happens when you think everything is in order only to discover that there is an unpaid debt such as property taxes outstanding? Does the seller take care of the bill or is the purchaser responsible? Many things are dependent on your mortgage approval. All subjects have to be removed successfully in order for a smooth sale to occur.
Let your real estate closing lawyer help you lay a successful foundation on this monumental purchase. The very last thing you want to do is enter into a financially huge deal without having yourself protected. Your attorney can read through the fine print and ensure you have completed all tasks correctly and that the other party has adhered to the fine print as well.
Closing the Sale
Closing the deal involves a lengthy checklist; most of which will be handled by your lawyer including:
- Searching the property title
- Reviewing your finalized mortgage documents prior to your signing them
- Ensuring your homeowner’s insurance is in place on your closing date (or your mortgage will not be approved)
By choosing a successful real estate lawyer from the beginning, you minimize your risk of any costly surprises or issues arising last minute. Always ask someone you trust for a recommendation and read the lawyer’s reviews from other clients. A few thousand dollars in legal fees can protect you in the future from expensive repairs, permits and potential fines from the city. It is vital to legally cover your back to ensure that both parties best interests are taken care of.