The Invaluable Role of Real Estate Attorneys
Real estate attorneys play a very important role in the process of buying or selling property. These attorneys perform title examinations, prepare the documents necessary to execute the sale of property and explain the documents’ meanings and effects, and also help you to obtain title insurance on your new property. If you are considering buying or selling your home or other property soon, speaking with a real estate attorney is a valuable precaution.
One of the most important functions a real estate attorney provides for you is known as a title examination. Title examinations are a search of all records relating to the property in question to determine who has rights and interest in and to the property. This is done by obtaining an “abstract” of the property. An abstract is a collection of copies of all documents filed with the mortgage and conveyance office relating to the property in question. Once the attorney has the abstract, he or she will examine the documents carefully to look for liens, interests, conveyances, and any other encumbrances on the land. Collectively, such defects are known as “clouds on title.” Any such clouds on title found detract from the interest in the land held by the current owner (and the prospective buyer, should he complete the purchase). Clouds on title represent interests held by other people that could be used to attack or restrict the interest of the landowner. Because of this potential for attack or infringement of rights, it is very important to be aware of any and all adverse interests in a piece of land you are selling or considering purchasing.
Title insurance, which can be negotiated and arranged by your real estate attorney, helps to protect you against any claims on your land. Based on the results of the title examination for the property you are purchasing or selling, you may obtain insurance to protect you against any of the potential adverse claims that were discovered in the title search. Your ability to get this insurance, and the cost of such insurance, varies depending on the “cleanliness” of your title—in other words, how few clouds exist on the title. Title insurance is very important, as litigating title disputes can be extremely costly and time consuming. Your attorney can not only help you obtain title insurance company; frequently, they can also negotiate with the title insurance company in order to ensure that you receive a better deal.
Finally, attorneys help in property sales by preparing the documents needed to effectuate the sale. Attorneys make sure all documents are correct, properly executed, and properly filed with any organization necessary, such as the mortgage and conveyance office. Your attorney can help you to understand the legal ramifications of the transaction, and to comprehend exactly what you are signing when you execute closing documents and complete your property sale or purchase.
Purchasing or selling property is a major transaction. It is not only complex, but also extremely important to you and your family. It is a transaction that must be handled properly. Given this, a real estate attorney who can help with a title search and obtaining title insurance, as well as help prepare and explain all the necessary forms, is a worthwhile investment. Contacting your real estate attorney is an important part of any land sale or purchase.
© The Colvin Law Firm
Image: "Houses for Sale," originally uploaded to Flickr by I See Modern Britain