What Does a Real Estate Settlement Attorney Do? – The Pendergraft Firm LLC

First, What is “settlement” in real estate settlement attorney?

The settlement is the “big finish” of the real estate world. It is what homeownership dreams are made of. For buyers, this means signing documents, putting funds into an escrow and getting the keys to your new castle! For sellers, this generally means signing documents and getting paid. Interested third parties such as real estate wholesalers get paid at closing to. Everyone walks away with what they bargained for at the settlement table and it is up to the settlement attorney to make sure this happens.

What is a Real Estate Settlement Attorney’s Role

The attorney presiding over the settlement is a neutral role, even though in most cases the Settlement Attorney or Company is chosen by the buyer. This role can also be filled by non-attorneys called Settlement or Title Officers. Either party is free to hire their own non-neutral attorney to represent their interest at closing. Considering for many people a home will be their largest purchase or sale, having an attorney that looks out for your sole interest is a good idea.

The Real Estate Settlement attorney is responsible for following

  • Following the roadmap provided by the real estate contract for sale
  • Preparation of HUD-1
  • Following the lender’s loan closing instructions
  • Compliance with State and Federal laws
  • Paying off seller’s existing mortgages (if any)
  • Conducting a title search and clearing clouds on title
  • Ordering title insurance
  • Disbursing the funds
  • Preparation and recording of deed and/or deed of trust/mortgage

Settlement Attorney vs Title Attorney

Settlement Attorney’s are sometimes also called Title Attorneys because they conduct title searches, review title reports, and attempt to resolve title issues before closing. Your attorney may issue the title insurance through his firm (if he is a licensed title producer) or order it from another title company.

Do You Need a Settlement Attorney?

Consider working with me to make sure your next transaction goes smoothly. Or, if you need a non-neutral attorney to represent you do not hesitate to contact me.

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