You don’t need a lawyer to buy a house, but he’s on your side at your NC real estate closing.
Homebuyers often complain about having to pay for a lawyer in addition to all the other fees and costs they encounter at their closing. After all, your Realtor is a licensed professional. You hire other professionals to inspect the house and prepare your loan. So why do you need to spend additional money to hire an attorney to sit through your closing?
In NC real estate closings represent the final step in the home-buying process. You transfer the money and take possession of the keys to your new home. If you pay in cash, you even get to walk away with the deed to the property. Otherwise, it goes to whoever gave you a loan for the house: your bank or independent mortgage company.
What a Lawyer Provides
At many closings, the attorney represents both the buyer and the seller; he’s there merely to put his seal of approval on all the required documents. If you want to really protect yourself, however, get your own real estate lawyer. After all, this is the last step. All your paperwork must be in order.
Since buying a new home may be the biggest purchase of your life, you naturally want it to be done right. Don’t trust disinterested third-party companies; give your side some protection. He’ll make sure you’re getting exactly what you expect and exactly what you want.
Complicated Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
You’re going to be sitting at a table with mounds of complicated documents — lengthy, legally binding documents that you are expected to sign — in front of you at your NC real estate closing. If you don’t have your own lawyer with you, you can’t ask questions that concern the legal aspects of the paperwork. And once you’ve signed them, you’re legally responsible for the terms.
It takes only one attorney to fill out the forms required to transfer the deed. Only one attorney can assign checks to the bank, your Realtor and the seller. So if you want to be assured that someone at the table is looking out for your interests and your interests only, it’s wise to hire your own lawyer for this part of the process. If the person handling your closing isn’t an attorney, then that person cannot give you legal advice; all he can do is carry out the administrative portions of the closing.
Specialized NC Real Estate Closing Lawyers
Real estate law is a specialty practice. In addition to answering legal questions that you may have, some of the other legal responsibilities an attorney has at the time of closing include:
- Examining the title records to make sure there are no liens on the property
- Negotiating title insurance with the insurance company
- Sorting out issues as they arise, such as verbal commitments that were made by the buyer or seller, environmental issues or escrow problems
- Explaining language you may not understand
Worth the Costs
Many lenders insist that you spring to have a lawyer for your NC real estate closing, and it really is in everyone’s best interests. Your lawyer should be independent of the lender, the Realtor and any other party involved in your transaction. Your attorney should be on your side and only on your side.
When you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a house, it’s worth the price tag, which typically runs less than $1,000, for a real estate attorney. And while nothing may come up during your closing (and it rarely does), this is one case where it definitely pays to be safe rather than sorry. The cost of a mistake in your closing could end up costing you much, much more than your NC real estate closing attorney charges.