Real Estate Attorney

Find a Local Broward Real Estate Attorney or Title Company

In Florida, both title companies and Real Estate Attorneys may issue title insurance for your Real Estate purchase or refinance. Since most policies are issued at rates promulgated by the Department of Insurance, title insurance obtained from an attorney is priced the same as title insurance from a title company. In many cases, title insurance through an attorney is underwritten by the same underwriting company as would be obtained through a title company.

Some people believe that a title company is cheaper for them than an attorney. That is often not the case. Florida law requires that a closing agent issuing title insurance also charge the consumer a fee that is no less than its costs of actually providing closing services.

Quite often, those charges are comparable (if not identical) for both the title company and the attorney.

The big difference in utilizing a local real estate title company or a Broward Real Estate attorney for closing a real estate transaction is that a Real Estate title company may only provide a limited scope of services. By law, a title company may only prepare documents necessary to issue a title insurance policy in connection with a pending transaction.

These documents are usually limited to the deed and affidavits necessary to meet title insurance requirements. You will need, either your Realtor or real estate attorney to prepare other forms and contracts.

Perhaps the biggest difference between representation by a Real Estate attorney and using a title company for closing is that an attorney may provide legal advice. This advice can involve review and explanation of an offer for purchase or sale. However, legal advice can be important at any junction. A title company cannot provide legal advice.

One of the most important areas of legal advice in a real estate transactions is the best method for a buyer to take title to the property.
Many couples take title as husband and wife, so if one dies, the other will be the sole owner. However, that is not often the best way to own property. In many cases, placing title in a living trust is preferable to avoid probate and coordinate with existing wills and trusts of the client. In other cases, it may be advantageous to place title in a corporation or partnership to take advantage of tax planning or other matters.

Sometimes, the real estate closing does not go as planned.
A Real Estate attorney or Realtor, can prepare contract modification and extension agreements, and even agree to extensions on behalf of his or her client. Real Estate Title companies may not prepare such documents and they cannot even provide blank forms with instructions.

Many buyers or sellers of real estate need tax advice. A real estate attorney can help structure a transaction to minimize tax problems. Attorney services in this area may include structuring installment sales, preparation of like-kind exchange documents, and filings with the IRS. Foreign buyers and sellers often find tax advice and explanation of the impact of U.S. law critical in considering how to take title or whether to accept a purchase offer.

In a small percentage of cases, the parties find that there is a problem with title. In those cases, a Real Estate attorney can prepare corrective documents and provide legal advice as to the best method to cure a defect. In other cases, a dispute may arise that could result in litigation.

When a Florida real estate attorney is representing a buyer or seller, the attorney can provide immediate analysis of the legal position of the client and the anticipated result of any ensuing litigation (including expense).

In short, a Broward Real Estate attorney may do everything a Broward Real Estate title company does, but can also provide legal advice and services that may only be provided by attorneys.

In some cases, a buyer does not believe that there will be a need for legal advice because the contract is "standard" and everything should go smoothly.

Even the smoothest closing can be disrupted by problems, not the least of which may be buyer or seller remorse. Many transactions involve leases, including leaseback by a seller where the seller's new home will not be ready until after closing. In other transactions, a need for occupancy prior to closing may be involved. Real Estate Title companies are not authorized to prepare such documents.

The ultimate decision as to using a real estate title company or real estate attorney for closing remains with the client. I hope the foregoing proves helpful in your decision making process.

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