What Aspects Of A Closing Does A Closing Attorney Handle?
The closing attorney comes into play when a contract is signed and negotiations have already been completed. Either the realtor or the mortgage broker or lender will send whoever has been designated within that contract to do the title search.
In South Florida, specifically in Miami Dade County and Broward County, the buyer ordinarily chooses who does the title search in that contract.
For the rest of Florida, the seller typically chooses who does the title search in the contract. We’re not sure why this happened, but it has become a rule of thumb. It’s not an actual rule, it’s just what people are used to in these counties.
Once a closing attorney gets involved and an order is placed, we order from what’s called “The Fund”, which is a Florida-based, attorney-operated title search company. The Fund is underwritten by Old Republic National Title Insurance Company (ORNTIC). A title search will look for any type of issue that will prevent a clear title.
A clear title is a title that gives the sole power of an owner to convey property. It means that nobody from the past, be they an individual, third party, or government, has any…
- Encumbrances, or
No one will be able to assert their right to this property and, therefore, the title is clear and you can convey it on your own.
Who Brings You In As The Closing Attorney?
Who brings in the closing attorney would depend on the county. In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, the purchaser or their realtor would write in the contract who they want to do the title. In all other counties, the seller or their realtor would write in the contract who they want to do the title.
In some instances, it is the lender or mortgage broker who would choose the closing attorney to put in the contract. This can happen if neither the purchaser nor the seller knows or cares about the title.
There’s actually a spot in a contract for sale to issue who is going to do the title search and control the escrow money.
Who Is Responsible For Paying For The Title, The Title Search And The Closing Cost That Your Firm Would Charge?
Typically, funds are pulled from the sale. It doesn’t usually come directly out of somebody’s pocket, but rather out of the proceeds that are held in an Escrow regarding the transaction.
Let’s Walk Through Some Of The Closing Documents That Are Important And What They Mean To The Closing Of A Real Estate.
We use a particular title document that’s called an ALTA statement. The document basically states what monies the seller, the buyer, and/or a lender are responsible for. It looks like a spreadsheet and shows all the debits and credits so that everyone can see at a glance who is paying what and who is getting what. It’s an itemization based on the parties to the contract.
If there’s a mortgage on the property, the lender will require something called a Closing Disclosure, or CD. The CD has all the same information as the ALTA, it’s just in a cookie-cutter lender format. The CD has to be signed and returned to the lender.
With any transaction, there’s going to be a deed that is recorded. That deed transfers the ownership of the property for public record. There are multiple types of deeds, but the two most common are a warranty deed and a quick claim deed by the seller of the property.
In the event that there’s a mortgage on the property and it’s not a cash deal, there are two other documents that will be recorded:
- The signed mortgage, and
- The signed note.
Additionally, there are several affidavits that are required by the title underwriting, but those are various and voluminous. There are a bunch of them, but they’re all pretty self-explanatory.
There are just a few other documents that need to be signed and returned to make sure that the title is clear. These protect them in the event that something arises later where the title wasn’t clear and there happens to be a claim. That’s what the premium paid for title insurance covers. It’s insurance against a misstep or an error by the title attorney.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Real Estate Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Real Estate Attorney in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step.