11.18.2022 | Real Estate

What does an attorney do at closing?

By Claire L. Davis

First-time home buyers are sometimes surprised to discover that they need the services of an attorney as part of the process. When you communicate with that attorney through the process, you may wonder what their role actually is.

There are many different tasks that real estate attorneys perform as part of the home-buying process.

Verify the title history

Real estate attorneys conduct thorough research into the property history. The research includes the title history, confirmation of the owner on record as well as evaluation of the tax records. This ensures that there are no outstanding taxes, the property is free of any liens, and the title is clear for assignment.

Submit the title records for certification

After completing the title history research, the attorney submits it to the title insurance company with a recommendation for how to proceed. The details include any information about easements, restrictions or zoning issues.

Handle the final disbursements

Following the contract signing, the real estate attorney registers the deed, disburses funds to pay off any liens and sends the remaining proceeds to the seller. The attorney also sends the final contracts and documents to the mortgage holder.

As you can see, a real estate attorney is a valuable resource for home buyers. Talk with the attorney about any concerns you have with the title process, any potential lienholders or easements and the final contract papers. The more information you have at your disposal, the easier it is to make an educated decision on the final closing.

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