Q: Should I use the services of a real estate attorney for my closing or is a simple title company okay?
A: If you choose not to use the services of a real estate attorney in connection with your purchase, sale or refinance closing you will not be getting legal representation for yourself if a dispute with the buyer, seller, lender or other party arises, if a problem or issue is encountered, or if you do not understand the documents or your legal rights.
Q: Are Florida real estate contracts all standard forms?
A: While a great deal of standard form contracts are used in Florida, no particular form is mandated by Florida law. You should speak with a real estate attorney to discuss your circumstances and your transaction to make sure that contract you are agreeing to adequately and clearly protects you.
Q: What role does a real estate attorney play in the real estate process?
A: Only real estate attorneys can: (i) interpret and counsel buyers and sellers about all legal documents related to the transaction, including title polices, deeds, mortgages, and closing statements; (ii) advise the buyer on what the title policy does protect against and what it does not protect against; and (iii) inform clients of their legal rights and obligations. Real estate attorneys can also: (i) obtain a title search to evaluate the status of a title and require appropriate legal remedies to clear defects; (ii) prepare or review the closing statement and other closing documents, and inform the buyer and/or seller about any stipulations that affect their interests; (iii) investigate zoning matters, other governmental use restrictions, and mineral rights and other reservations; (iv) check unrecorded municipal liens, including sewer and special assessments; and (v) protect for marketability of the title for future refinancing, and simply a future sale.
Q: Does it cost more for me to have a real estate attorney represent me with my transaction rather than a simple title company?
A: Most frequently, if a real estate attorney acts as the settlement agent, the only fees involved will be the state-promulgated title insurance premium and the charges for related title services as set by marketplace competition. This is the same pricing structure that you would be charged by a non-lawyer title insurance agent. Therefore, for the same cost, you get all title insurance and settlement services, the lawyer's advice on legal matters relating to the transaction, and the benefit of his or her fiduciary duty to you.
DANIEL J. SHEPHERD, P.A.
3896 Burns Road - Suite 101
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410
Phone: (561) 624-3001 | Website: www.djspa.com
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