Florida is unique for many reasons, especially when it comes to real estate. Unlike many states, Florida does not require the use of an attorney for real estate transactions. Buyers and sellers can either use an attorney or a title insurance company to handle the closing. So, which is the better choice? That answer will depend on your personal goals but in this article we’ll point out the benefits of working with a real estate attorney when purchasing or selling a property.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney for Real Estate Transactions
- Real Estate Attorneys work for the buyers and sellers that hire them, while a title company works for the title insurer. Once hired, an attorney represents his or her client throughout the entire real estate transaction, advocating for them and looking out for their best interest every step of the way. The title company’s sole role is to review the title history, issue the title insurance policy, and prepare closing documents without advocating for buyers or sellers.
- Unlike Attorneys, Title Agents cannot provide legal advice. When problems or questions arise, title agents cannot offer legal assistance to buyers or sellers. Along with buyers/sellers, realtors also benefit from working with attorneys throughout the process, since they can review the contract and answer legal questions as part of the transaction. In the real estate industry, legal assistance always trumps realtor or title company “advice.”
- Attorneys can correct issues that affect the title or sales contract. This is significant because while both title companies and attorneys will perform a title search and review, if an issue is found and documents need to be obtained or corrected, only an attorney can provide legal assistance regarding the best way to handle the issue and prepare the necessary documentation in a timely fashion. Not having an attorney when a title issue arises can delay a closing or even cause a transaction to fall through depending on the issue at hand.
- The costs of hiring an Attorney vs. a Title Company are comparable. The majority of closing costs are set by the State of Florida, so they are the same whether an attorney or title agent is used. In some cases it can be more cost effective to use an attorney, since they can perform double duty as both an attorney and title agent.
Real estate transactions can be stressful and complex. Having an attorney by your side throughout the process is key to a successful purchase and closing. And if you shop a bit, you may find an opportunity to close through an attorney at rates that are the same or lower than your local title company.
When choosing The Law Office of Donna Hearne-Gousse, P.A. for your title, escrow, and closing needs, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of an attorney-based title agency with similar and in many cases lower rates than what a standard title company will charge.
The Law Office of Donna Hearne-Gousse