Why Should You Have a Lawyer Present at a Real Estate Closing?

The process of closing a real estate transaction may seem, in theory, be a simple formality. However, even after potentially lengthy negotiation and working through issues between the buyer and seller, there may still arise something that can cause problems at the very last moment. Here are just a few of the reasons why you might want to have a lawyer present when you are closing on a property:

  • Clearing the title for sale
    • One of the first and most important things an attorney can do at closing is ensure that there are no title defects that might affect the sale. This might include any outstanding liens, any unpaid mortgages or taxes, as well as any undisclosed easements or covenants. Ensuring these defects are absent will ensure the sale goes as smoothly as possible.
  • Assisting with obtaining title insurance
    • Once the property’s title has been cleared, the lawyer can assist with arranging for you to obtain title insurance. This type of insurance is meant to protect against any unknown or unforeseen issues with the title that may arise after the closing, including anyone who might contest the ownership of the property. This protects your financial interests and minimizes the legal risk that may come from buying or selling property.
  • Communicating between you and the other party
    • From the moment you begin negotiating for a piece of real estate to the last moment of closing, there is constant communication between the buyer and seller. A lawyer can handle these communications for you, both to ease your burdens and to ensure you do not say anything that may incur additional legal risk. By communicating on your behalf at closing, you can minimize any chance of miscommunications or allegations of misrepresentations once the process is over.
  • Performing last minute review of all documents
    • By the time you get to closing, you have probably seen the legal documents for your real estate transaction countless times. And yet, there are still plenty of occasions where you will not catch an error or a disagreeable term until the very last moment. Hiring a lawyer to help you at closing means you have a better chance of catching these last minute issues, before it is too late to fix them.
  • Ensuring the sale is recorded and money is disbursed
    • Finally, once the closing is completed, it is time to ensure that the transfer of title from the seller to the buyer is completed. This includes both recording the deed and other necessary documents with the local clerk, as well as ensuring all of the closing proceeds are distributed as necessary. Having a lawyer to help with this process ensures it can go as smoothly as possible, and limits the risk of mistakes that might result in problems later on.

 

A real estate lawyer can assist with various aspects of the home buying process, including preparing and reading contracts, performing a title search, and closing the deal. The attorneys at Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney are skilled and experienced in the aspects of real estate law to ensure a smooth process as you purchase your new home. Contact the Law Offices of Hunziker, Sweeney & Jones at (973) 256-0456 or visit our contact page for a consultation.

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