Why A Real Estate Lawyer Is Invaluable During Closing And Settlement

You have found a house that you like and are preparing to properly buy it. Perhaps you're a seller who's ready to close the deal. The feeling is great in either scenario, but you also need to be aware of some of the impending legal challenges. If you're getting ready for the closing and settlement processes, a real estate lawyer can be invaluable for these four reasons.


At this stage, the parties are very close to total commitment to the sale. The seller and buyer have to formally agree to what they're actually transferring in terms of physical property, assets, and rights. If there's a mortgage involved, there will also be arrangements with the bank that's providing the loan. A real estate attorney can draw up and review contracts to make sure the terms protect their client's interests. They also can confirm that the language of the contracts matches what the client thinks it should be.

Financial Disclosures

U.S. law requires full financial disclosure of all the fees tied to the closing process. These disclosures state the final loan costs if there's a mortgage. They also include any closing fees. If there's an agent involved in the deal, the disclosures confirm how much they get for brokering the deal.

The disclosures also outline how the parties will transfer the funds. Escrow is a common transfer procedure, and the disclosures will state the conditions for clearing escrow and completing the transfer.

Likewise, the parties should establish who'll handle any remaining obligations. If a buyer is assuming an existing mortgage, everyone should agree to that. Likewise, someone might need to pay off any outstanding liens, taxes, or other fees.


The parties should also agree on a location to settle the deal. People frequently use the office of an escrow agent, real estate lawyer, or title company. The participants will sign the paperwork and contact anyone who's critical to clearing escrow, handing over keys, or transferring the title.


Once everyone has signed all of the appropriate documents, someone has to send them to the county's records office. This creates a public record of the transaction. It also ensures that anything like the bank's lien on the property for the mortgage goes on file. A buyer should strongly consider working with a real estate attorney during the recording process because this is the key step to taking ownership of the property.