Just because you are the party who has the choice in which title company will be handling your closing does not mean that you’ll be represented by the title company. In fact, the only time you can ever be represented is by an attorney that you hire. A title insurance company cannot represent any party throughout the closing, and an attorney who has their own title insurance company cannot represent you if they are also writing your title insurance policy.
Realtors often suggest that the closing should be handled by their in-house title company. Most large brokerages have an affiliated title company, and since most people don’t have an allegiance with a title company, they typically follow the advice of their realtor. While this may not be an issue and the closing may go smoothly,it’s always smart to have someone on your side. Hiring an attorney prior to signing your real estate contract, especially when their prices are competitive with the title insurance company is a no-brainer.
For example, a title company will charge both a closing fee as well as a document preparation fee. If you have an attorney representing you, their document preparation fee should be about the same – if not less – than the title company’s. Furthermore, attorneys can negotiate down the closing fee the title company charges, which means that hiring an attorney often is a net savings for you.
Bottom line: Hire an attorney when you go to buy or sell your next piece of property. While your title agent may be friendly, their aim is to close on the sale, not to make sure your best interests (read: your wallet) are being taken care of.
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