CHOOSING AN ATTORNEY FOR A REAL ESTATE CLOSING
Most mortgage brokers and/or real estate agents or brokers will recommend one or more attorneys to you to assist you in your real estate transaction. You are not required to use any of the attorney’s they recommend. You have the right to be represented by an attorney of your own choice. Most of the attorneys they recommend are those with whom they have a personal or business relationship. Obviously, if you know and trust the broker outside of this transaction, then their recommendation should be considered more heavily. Ultimately, the question is, is the broker making the recommendation in your best interest or in their best interest of making sure the closing goes through so they make their commission.
You should first ask your own attorney, if you have one. If they don’t practice real estate law, they will probably have a real estate attorney they can recommend to you. A recommendation from any attorney you know is better than a recommendation from a broker that you do not know, because your attorney has an interest in making sure you are represented properly and professionally because it will reflect upon him or her and your relationship. You ultimately have to do your own homework, and research any attorney you wish to use. Purchasing a home is typically the single largest purchase a person will make, and potentially involves numerous legal issues. You will want to make sure that the attorney you select is an experienced real estate attorney who is focused on representing your interests throughout the closing process.
Certain lenders have “closed lists”. What that means is that they will only let attorney’s that they have approved close loans for them. Just as you have the right to be represented by an attorney of your own choice, your lender has that same right. Traditionally, your attorney would represent you and would also represent the bank in a purchase or refinance transaction. However, with increased regulation of the lending process, many lenders are restricting who represents them because the potential penalties for mistakes (or violations) can be extremely costly to the lender (some are $1,000,000.00/violation). So when considering an attorney for your closing, you will need to make sure that the attorney you select is on the approved list for your lender, if your lender restricts who can close its loans.
“When results matter, experience counts”