Why hire an attorney for a real estate closing?


Sellers and Buyers often wonder why it is necessary to use an attorney at a real estate closing.  Besides the fact that it may be the most important investment you make in a lifetime, it is questionable whether initially, one realizes the enormous consequences of not being protected as you travel through the closing process. 

It is important to point out the various stages of a real estate transaction to help exemplify the importance of hiring an attorney.  Contract negotiations and contract review should be performed by an attorney.  A contract should contain the proper financing terms, cover possession issues, insure that the tax prorations reflect the customary procedure in the county, and that riders are reflective of each individual case. 

How about simply, are you buying from the right person? What if it is inherited property that is in an estate? Does the estate need to be probated or will an executor’s deed suffice? Perhaps a deed signed by the heir with proof that they are the same person as the legatees will suffice.  Perhaps the attorney will need to provide her title company with an affidavit of heirship.  A simple question which could have grave consequences if not researched properly. 

Hopefully, clear title to the property will be passed and no liens will remain on the property. However, when you hire an attorney, you can be assured a closing will not be completed unless a clear title is conveyed.  Certainly, a seller will need an attorney to clear the title liens and a buyer will make sure that they are not purchasing any seller liens. 

A survey is more than a convenient method of land description. Not only will an attorney explain the building lines and easements, but will make sure that any encroachments are ascertained and insured over.  Or how about when your lender informs you that your spouse needs to waive “homestead” at closing. Your attorney will comfortably assure you that this is not a foreign request. Moreover, explain to you what homestead means in Illinois, as well as what it may mean in a foreclosure suit. 

Hiring an attorney is one of the best decisions you will make when you decide to make one of the most important investment decisions in your life.  Not only is it cost effective, but it is the best and most affordable insurance you may ever buy. 

Beth Mann is a transaction real estate attorney who has been practicing real estate law for 33 years.  She has over 500 5 star reviews on google.  Her website is mannclosing.com

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