Real Estate Closing Attorney Providing Both Residential and Commercial Closing Services in the Greater Orlando Area
We do not add an attorney fee to the customary Closing costs charged in a routine real estate closing, where we act as the settlement agent. More often than not, we charge a similar amount as a title agency for the same services.
Every real estate closing is different, some are complex and challenging while others are smooth sailing from the beginning. Frequently, the difference between a smooth and efficient closing; one that consummates on time, and one that is either delayed or falls apart at the table, depends on the knowledge, skill, diligence, and experience of the closing agent managing the settlement process.
We represent buyers, sellers, lenders, investors, and developers at residential and commercial real estate closings. Whether it is a cash transaction, a mortgage or refinance transaction our experienced real estate closing attorneys and support staff have the expertise necessary to professionally manage the real estate closing process and accurately settle the transaction.
Looking for a responsive, knowledgeable, real estate closing service provider you can count on to get the job done accurately, efficiently, and on time? Then contact us today and find out how we can help you. Call us at (407) 259-2426 or email us to Schedule a Consultation
Real Estate Closing Services We Provide
No matter your position in the transaction we can represent you; and most often for the same amount you would pay a title agency. It is important to understand that if any legal issues or questions come up at the closing table only an attorney that represents you can provide legal advice.
Don’t be fooled. Title companies will tell people that they have a staff attorney or that they are attorney owned. The reality is, those attorneys represent the title company, not you.
We provide real estate closing services for cash purchase, cash out, mortgage, refinance, REO, Short Sale, and FSBO types of transactions, and more, for both commercial and residential properties.
We provide the following real estate closing services:
- Complete Title searches and examinations.
- Encumbrance & Ownership Searches.
- Review of the title abstract.
- Clear Title Defects & Encumbrances.
- Prepare title insurance commitment.
- Prepare and Issue Residential or Commercial Title Insurance Policy.
- Lien Removal.
- UCC / Lien Searches.
- Obtain estoppel letters from HOA or COA.
- Secure proper documentation to verify legal status and authority of business entities involved in the transaction, if applicable.
- Obtain municipal lien and tax information.
- Obtain and review survey/plot plan information about the property.
- Obtain and review mortgage and lien payoff information.
- Collect and coordinate paperwork including financing and required disclosures.
- Coordinate with lender to make sure their requirements are met.
- Coordinate with buyers, sellers, real estate agents and lender.
- Prepare documents; such as, deeds, bills of Sale, closing disclosures, and loan documents.
- Prorate property taxes, insurance, loan interest, rents, and maintenance dues.
- Assist with obtaining flood and windstorm insurance.
- Coordinate and conduct the closing ceremony / settlement.
- Review and explain all closing and purchase related documents.
- Disbursement of the transaction proceeds per the settlement statement.
- Transmit loan documents to lender.
- Record Deeds, Mortgages, Releases, and other closing documents, in the public records.
- Provide escrow services for deposits and closing documents.
- IRS 1099s declarations
Who Represents You at the Real Estate Closing?
The short and simple answer is nobody. Unless you specifically hire an attorney to represent you at the closing table, you are on your own.
For the typical residential closing there are generally five participants; seller, seller’s agent, buyer, buyer’s agent, and the closing agent. Sometimes a representative for the lender will attend as well. Who participates in a commercial real estate closing will vary based on the transaction. Due to the nature of commercial transactions participants are almost always represented by an attorney.
Both buyers and sellers rely on their real estate agents to navigate them through the purchase or sale process. And, although they usually attend the closing with their respective client, they legally can’t answer questions about the documents or the language in the documents presented at closing, nor can they advise on a whole swath of issues that could come up at the closing table.
Similarly, the closing agent cannot provide legal advice or opinions about the closing documents. The title/closing agent provides the title policy and prepares the closing documents and conducts the closing ceremony. If a loan is being used to purchase the property then the lender prepares a closing package that includes the closing instructions; as-well-as, the deed. If you are paying cash for the property, the seller’s attorney would prepare the deed and other necessary documents, who then sends them to the closing agent for execution at settlement. In either case the, non-attorney, settlement agent cannot explain the terms, review the documents, provide an opinion about the title abstract and commitment, prepare addendums, or provide any recommendations. Only an attorney can do those things.
Purchasing real estate is an expensive proposition. If you do not fully understand the closing documents and the documents you are signing, there could be severe consequences for both the buyer and the seller.
As the buyer you could get stuck with a defective title, inadequate insurance, or irregular mortgage terms. You could get stuck with extensive repair bills due to an undeclared addition that was not properly permitted, undeclared problems with the property, or easement issues. There are a whole host of other issues that could occur.
As a seller, without adequate representation, there is always a possibility that there are grounds for a lawsuit for misrepresentation or breach of contract. Moreover, you are still responsible for accrued interest, late fees, and penalties if the seller’s mortgage or liens are not paid-off in a timely manner after the closing. What if you are selling just one lot of a multi-lot property? You’ll want to make sure you’re not selling more than intended.
Whether you are a seller, buyer, or a vested party, having a lawyer represent you through the real estate closing process and settlement will vastly reduce the possibility of those types of issues occurring.
What Does a Real Estate Closing Attorney Do?
As a buyer you want the real estate you think you are buying, in the condition you thought you were buying it in; without the debts or problems of the previous owner being attached. Moreover, as the buyer you want to make sure the transaction reflects the negotiated terms. Especially if non-traditional types of financing are involved.
As the seller you want to make sure you are not accused of misrepresentation, fraud or some other type of malfeasance. Similarly, as the seller, you want to make sure the transaction reflects the negotiated terms, especially if you extend seller financing with a mortgage or there is some other complicated financing arrangement.
The bottom line is, whether you are a buyer, seller, investor, lender, or have some other vested interest in the transaction, you want to avoid being ripped-off or being accused of something and getting sued. Additionally, the more complex the transaction is, the greater the potential legal liability you open yourself up to.
In the broadest sense, the job of a real estate closing attorney, whether the transaction is residential or commercial, is to make sure your rights and interests are protected within the transaction. They make sure that closing instructions are carried out in the manner agreed to by the parties. And finally, their job is to make sure you don’t fall into murky legal water and unnecessarily open yourself to liability. What they do to accomplish that job depends on who they are representing.
Attorney as Real Estate Closing Agent
In this role the real estate closing attorney primarily represents the transaction. And is responsible for making sure the closing process, all conditions, terms and instructions of all parties are properly fulfilled. Additionally, the closing attorney will work to keep the closing moving forward by trying to resolve minor disputes and title issues that may arise; often at no extra charge.
- Act as impartial settlement agent, conduct the actual closing ceremony, arrange for document exchange, obtain all required signatures, and ensure documents are properly, executed and recorded.
- Ensure smooth closing by coordinating communication between buyers, sellers, lenders, and real estate agents.
- Obtain document approvals from all parties, as required.
- Briefly review transaction related and closing documents.
- Ensure seller has the right to sell the property and issue title insurance.
- Comply with, non-conflicting, written instructions from buyer, seller and the lender.
- Arrange for the distribution of transaction proceeds according to the settlement statement.
Representing the Buyer at the Closing
As the buyer’s closing attorney, we represent only the interests and needs of the buyer, not the transaction, not the seller, not the lender, and not the title insurance company. We work to make sure all conditions set forth in the purchase agreement and any other relevant conditions are met prior to, or at, the closing.
We work with all parties in the transaction; including real estate agents, sellers, and the lender, to resolve any outstanding issues prior to closing.
- Inform you of your legal rights and obligations as setout in the transaction documents.
- Review the purchase agreement with you so you fully understand the provisions and contingencies and make sure they are not counter to your interests.
- Review all closing documents and other documents related to the transaction including deeds mortgages, and closings statements.
- Evaluate the title abstract and communicate with seller’s attorney and title company to clear encumbrances and defects.
- Review the title insurance policy with you, explaining what it does and does not cover. And, whether or not there are any exclusions and what they could mean for the marketability of the title if/when you sell the property in the future.
- Check for unrecorded leans and special assessments.
- Review HOA and COA documentation and advise you on their impact on your interests.
- Provide insight and advise on how to take title to the property and the overall impact on your personal estate.
- Prepare a bill of sale for all personal or business property being sold along with the property.
- Review the loan agreement informing you whether it conforms with the negotiated terms.
- Represent you at closing.
Representing the Seller at the Closing
When we represent the seller at closing our priority is to make sure that their obligations to the property, after it is sold, are 100% satisfied. No one wants to get embroiled in a lawsuit because something was missed or done incorrectly. We will thoroughly review all documentation to make sure your rights and interests are protected; now and in the future. If disputes or legal issues come up during the closing process, or at the closing table, we will work to resolve the issue to your best interest.
- Resolve disputes and legal issues that may come up during the closing process (while the sale is pending), and at the closing table.
- Clear the title of any liens, judgements, and defects.
- Review closing documents to make sure you are selling what you think you are selling.
- Review closing documents and verify they comply with the terms of the contract. And, that you are not agreeing to anything outside the bounds of the sales contract.
- Make sure that all prorations are properly calculated and accounted for.
- Draft quitclaim deed and power of attorney.
- Explain all closing documents and answer any questions you might have.
- Review all escrow documentation to highlight any potential issues.
- Review fees related to the closing and the sale of your property to avoid miscalculations and fraud.
- Represent you at the closing.
- Make sure all funds are properly distributed in a timely manner according to the settlement statement. Until all debts, liens, mortgages, and taxes are paid you are still responsible. Slow payment of settlement funds could have serious financial implications.
Why Choose Walsh Banks Law For Your Next Closing
With over fifty years of combined experience in the real estate industry the attorneys and staff at Walsh Banks Law know how to resolve issues that may arise during the closing process. We believe that leveraging a clear and concise process; along with proper planning and communication, is the best way to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.
Whether you are buying, selling, or have a vested interest in a transaction, we can represent you at the transaction settlement. Having a real estate attorney represent you throughout the closing process, and at the closing table, provides a peace of mind knowing that the documents that are presented and signed are correct and executed properly, further ensuring that, your interests are being protected.
No matter the scope, or complexity, of the transaction; from a simple residential purchase, a portfolio of fifty residential homes, to large commercial and developer transactions, we will work diligently to proactively address issues before they become a problem and delay closing the transaction.