Buying real estate is a complicated business.
The answer to why you need an attorney is easy to understand
by asking yourself a simple question: "Who at the closing
table is loyal to you?" As the buyer, do you think the
real estate agent would support your recision of a contract
if it was in your best interests due to repair or title defects?
Or is the broker more interested in seeing the deal close
no matter what? If you use a title company owned by a real
estate agent, who is that title company owe its loyalty to
and which interests will it advance? Increasingly, the title
company recommended by a real estate agent is also partially
owned by that real estate agent. Is that title agent working
for you? Consider the motivation of a title company which
is simply selling you a title policy. Does a title company
have any motivation to solve any problems with the title?
Or are any problems identified more likely to show up as exceptions
to the title coverage. Review part B of a title policy. Everything
there is an exception. And what are some of these exceptions?
Real estate taxes, water bills, code enforcement fines, encroachments.
Didn't you think these were the things you were buying title
insurance to be protected from? Title insurance provided by
your attorney would protect you from all of these.
Out of everyone at the closing table, only your attorney is
legally obligated to protect and advance your interests and
no one else's, even his own. Attorneys not only represent
you, but they keep your business - your business (confidential).
Attorneys have not only an ethical obligation, but also a
legal duty to keep your business dealings confidential.
Before the closing, your attorney can explain
· Your liability if assuming an existing
mortgage or taking subject to an existing mortgage.
· Alternative means of financing including seller financing,
private lenders, lease-options, and chattel mortgages.
· Pre-closing liability for fire and other casualty
to the property
· Explain the status of the title to the property,
and utilize appropriate legal remedies to clear title defects.
· Check for unrecorded municipal liens, including sewer
and special assessment liens.
· Check for building code compliance and unrecorded
· Verify zoning and other restrictions on the use of
· Advise you how title should be taken and create corporations,
partnerships, or trust as required.
· Prepare the Closing Statement and other closing documents
and explain how they effect you.
· Explain how to get your homestead reduction of the
ad Valorem taxes.
At the closing, your attorney will check every
detail, making sure the transaction occurs the way that you
agreed, and that you will get marketable title. This is the
most critical part of all, and your attorney's participation
is important in helping you protect your investment and your
For additional information regarding Florida
Law on specific real estate matters, you should contact our
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