Honesty. Transparency. Competence. Communication. These are all characteristics of a good closing attorney. This person is crucial to closing the sale of a home, so you want someone with all four of these traits.
What exactly does a closing attorney do? A lot! They coordinate the final closing, review all documents, examine the property deed, help obtain title insurance, and manage the money. Knowing their vital role in the sale of a property, you’ll want to choose a competent lawyer that inspires confidence. Here are some tips for choosing the right one for you.
Make sure they specialize in real estate and home sales. This means the attorney regularly handles these types of transactions and has plenty of experience in the process of home-buying and selling. The process is quite complicated these days and someone that does real estate “on the side” or the attorney that handled your divorce is not normally your best option for this important transaction.
Recommendations from your real estate agent or your mortgage professional can be extremely helpful. Based on their own experience and knowledge in this area, they’ll be able to give you a run-down of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Remember, though, you don’t have to choose your realtor’s go-to attorney. The point of asking for recommendations is to provide you with more options and grant you a sense of confidence when going to the closing table. Also, you will want to get a complete list of the attorney’s costs for closing. Paying more does not necessarily mean you will get the best representation.
Once you have a few candidates, it’s time to interview! Ask plenty of questions about their specialty, years of experience, number of closing per month, and rates. By preparing in-depth questions, you’ll get all the information you need to make a wise decision and will show the attorney that you know what you’re talking about. But also keep in mind, in today’s busy market, a lot of attorneys will not have time to talk with you beforehand and you probably will talk with one of his or her staff on an initial phone call.
And the last thing to consider is this – the attorney that works with the lender or the real estate agent a good bit will know their processes and will probably work the smoothest with the other parties in the transaction (which is so important these days). So, while you ultimately have the choice of who will handle your closing, if you feel you can work with one of your agent or loan officer’s attorneys that is most times the best route to take. Just as long as their fees are in line with the market, you should be in good hands.