Closing on a property is one of the most basic functions of real estate law. The process calls for a great deal of attention to numerous small details, though. It's important to deal with it the right way, and you should be aware of these four things every real estate closing lawyer aims to handle.
Examining the Title
Most folks are looking for a clean title for a piece of real estate. This means there aren't any outstanding issues with the property, such as a lien from a mortgage, legal judgments, or historical problems with the location.
If there are concerns, a real estate closing attorney will want to clear those up before letting the closing proceed. This might include curing the title. A cure is a legal petition that asks a court to remedy the outstanding problems by wiping them off the title. If there is a lien from a loan that was taken out 50 years and three owners ago, for example, the court may cure the title because there's no plausible foreclosure claim.
Even with the best efforts of a real estate closing attorney, there is some risk that comes with transferring a title. Your lawyer will help you to assess the potential risks and acquire an appropriate level of insurance. This will protect you against errors, omissions, and fraud involving the title. If a problem turns up, even several years down the road, you can file a claim against the insurance policy.
Most parties will also want some assurances about how the process of handing off cash and the title will work. Escrow allows one party to place the money in trust and the other to do the same with the title. When both parties have submitted the necessary items and supporting documentation, the escrow firm then releases the money and the title. Third-party services providers tend to specialize in this work, and a real estate closing attorney will usually have a few they prefer to deal with.
Recording the Transaction
Once the deed is in the buyer's possession, the real estate closing lawyer will need to make a record of the transaction. This includes supplying new information about the property and its owner to the county's registry. If there is a mortgage on the property, there should also be a record of its date, the lender, and how much money is involved in the loan.
Contact a local real estate closing lawyer to learn more.