Buying a home is one of the most important decisions anyone makes in their lifetime.
The decision to buy a home is most often a commitment of money that is many times more than an individual earns in a year. In South Carolina, real estate transactions must be made with the help of an attorney. While most folks buy their property through the assistance of a real estate agent, there are many situations in which an attorney’s help and guidance end up being more helpful than the real estate agent.
South Carolina law gives only you the choice of attorneys to handle your closing.
Real estate agents may often recommend a closing attorney. Mortgage brokers may also offer to shop for you an attorney. The choice of attorney, just like the choice of an insurance agent, is no one’s but YOURS. If you are using the attorney recommended by the bank, you may want to consider whether the attorney is going to be acting in your best interest or the banks?
When choosing a closing attorney, it’s a lot more than the fees.
You are about to commit to spend the equivalent of your next 3 to 5 years’ annual income on a home. A cheap lawyer can be just as good as a cheap suit of clothes. Don’t let your real estate agent or your banker get a quote for you for your closing fees. Contact the attorney directly and ask for yourself. Just like you don’t see a dentist about your vision it’s not always the best decision to seek legal counsel for your real estate transaction from a lawyer that spends most of her time practicing in another field of law. Likewise, when you are committing to spend a couple of years’ income on a new home, you don’t want to be hurried to the closing table and have a pile of documents shoved at you to sign without being given a proper explanation of what you are signing and the reason for them.
A few things to ask when choosing a real estate closing attorney in addition to the costs you will be charged:
- How much of the attorney’s practice is devoted to real estate law?
- How long has the attorney been practicing in the area?
- How much experience does his staff have?
- Who will sit at the closing table with me?
- Who examines the title to the property I am buying?
- How much training and annual updates on the law does the attorney and his staff receive?
- Will I get an explanation of the documents I will I be signing?
Home purchase transactions are only part of our experience in real estate law.
We help families divide or sell property they have inherited. We represent property owners who have a dispute with a neighbor about the location of a boundary line. We are involved in litigation over property sold at delinquent tax sales -- representing owners who didn’t get proper notice of the sale as well as people who buy land at delinquent property tax sales who need marketable title. We prosecute and defend mortgage foreclosure cases.
At Harvey & Kulmala, LLC, we have the experience and education to help you understand real estate legal problems and what actions you can or should take. If you encounter a situation in which you need legal information on real estate transactions, contact us to further discuss the matter.