The process of buying property can be complicated. A recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau describes real estate closings as confusing, stressful, time pressured, costly and filled with delays. A settlement agent/title company will be involved in the closing. You have the right to choose who will provide those services. Choosing the right settlement agent is critical to avoiding these common complaints. Take control of the process by using your attorney as the settlement agent.
As a buyer, you have some basic goals: get a deal on paper, close the deal quickly, avoid problems during the settlement process and no surprises at the closing table. Getting the right attorney involved can help you achieve these goals.
Get a Deal On Paper
Whether a realtor is involved or not, someone will need to prepare a sales agreement. There are lots of form agreements available on line but beware; every agreement has a particular “slant” toward one party or another. Quality varies quite a bit. A poor quality agreement can give a seller many “loopholes” that can be used to get out of the deal or force you to accept problems with the property. You will want to make sure any agreement that you use is reviewed and modified by your attorney to make it most likely that the deal with close.
Close the Deal Quickly
Once the deal is signed, there are LOTS of things that need to happen before the closing. Title searches, title insurance, tax clearance letters, inspections and appraisals are but a few of those items. Have your own attorney handle these things. If your attorney is controlling the process, it makes it far more likely that a closing happens as soon as possible. Maybe a delay costs you an increased interest rate on your loan. Not controlling the process can cost you money.
Title searches, inspections and other items that happen during the time between the signing of the agreement and closing can cause major problems that can derail the deal. You may think the property has “clear title” but title problems are fairly common. Get advice from someone who is on your side in case problems such as title defects, unpaid tax liens and old unsatisfied mortgages threaten to derail the closing.
No Surprises at the Closing Table
Surprise fees and costs at the closing table are common complaints about real estate closings. Many consumers report that even though they encounter discrepancies that result in unease at the closing table, they often feel pressured to sign documents during the allotted time in order to avoid risking delays or even losing the deal. You should ask to see the settlement statement at least 24 hours prior to closing so that you can understand costs on the form, ask any questions that you have and get things clarified without feeling pressure at the closing table. If we are handling the closing, you’ll receive regular updates on the closing expenses and will avoid surprises.
Using your own attorney to handle most aspects of the closing process is a great way to maintain control and ensure that the deal actually closes. The real estate attorneys at Fiffik Law Group has help hundreds of clients successfully make the biggest purchase of their lives. We can help you take control!