There are several misconceptions that dominate the public consciousness regarding attorneys and their roles during the property selling or buying process. Some of these misconceptions are as a result of exaggerations, incomplete media reports, and half-truths. Below is a list of common misconceptions related to selling and purchasing of property around the country which is intended to provide you with a better understanding of the important roles of a real estate attorney and how they can benefit you.
Real Estate Attorneys are More Expensive Compared to Title Companies
A major misunderstanding is that hiring a real estate attorney is costly compared to using the services of a title company which is untrue. Most title companies will often charge more for their title tasks which can be expensive in the long run than what your attorney would have charged you for closing.
Attorneys Slow Down the Closing Process
Some people think that working with a real estate attorney will reduce the closing process which is very untrue. Attorneys will ensure that the transaction closes efficiently by catching any issues before they become serious.
Attorneys Kill Deals
Another common misunderstanding is that attorneys often cause deals to fall apart. This is completely untrue because attorneys are trained to close real estate transactions as efficiently as possible. Some of the reasons why deals don’t close are the failure of buyers and sellers disagreeing on some terms and conditions of the deal or due to material defects in the title of the house which cannot be cured. Your real estate attorney will uncover any hidden problems before closing the deal to avoid incurring time-consuming and expensive problems.
Attorneys Charge Extra Fees On Top of Title Charges
In most cases, real estate attorneys handling the title insurance of a real estate transaction don’t charge additional fees. However, not all transactions are routine, and some will require additional assistance from your attorney, for instance, clearing issues from your title. In such cases, you will incur additional attorney charges for additional services. If your attorney is only acting as your title and closing agent, then you will incur less fees.
An Attorney Isn’t Needed For a Real Estate Closing Because Title Companies can Handle Everything
According to the law, title companies are prohibited from providing any legal advice. This means that if you’re trying to back out from a contract, or if there is a title problem, the title company won’t be of any assistance to you. In such cases, you will need the services of an attorney, and you will most likely incur more if a non-attorney title company is involved.
A Seller or Buyer Cannot Choose Who to Handle Their Closing
This untrue because the federal law allows homebuyers to choose their settlement and title agents. This ensures that the buyer and the owner are protected from other parties interested in the transaction. Buyers and sellers can protect themselves fully by choosing who will handle their closing.
All Title Companies are Owned and Operated by Attorneys
There is no legal requirement that title companies should be owned or operated by attorneys. Most title companies are operated and owned by licensed title insurance agents, and one isn’t required to be a lawyer. Title insurance agents have to be certified by taking a 40-hour course to meet the educational requirements. However, attorneys need a college degree, three years in a school of law, and pass a 2-day bar exam. They also have to expand their skills and knowledge through continuous legal education. Additionally, attorneys have fiduciary obligations and duties that title companies don’t have.