• Jonathan Fernandez

Issues That Your Real Estate Attorney Will Address

Updated: Jun 9

The law in North Carolina states that a Real Estate Attorney must be involved in the transaction of real property. The process of buying or selling a home almost always starts with an online listing and ends with a Real Estate Attorney assisting buyers and sellers in the conference room on closing day. Above all, your Real Estate Attorney is there to act as your representative and facilitate the transaction from start to finish. Here are some of the important issues that your Real Estate Attorney will address throughout the closing process:


Deed – A property deed is a legal document that transfers the ownership of real estate from a seller to a buyer. In North Carolina, the property deed must properly describe the property which is being transferred and be created in a legally correct manner. Once the property has closed, the deed will be recorded in the Register of Deeds for the county in which the property lies. This is public record and can be viewed online, or in person at the county register of deeds office. As a part of the closing process, your real estate attorney will obtain a fully executed and legally valid deed.


Title – If you are the buyer, your Real Estate Attorney will perform a title search to ensure that you receive the property free and clear, and that you receive marketable title. When property is owned completely without debt or liens against it, it is referred to as “free and clear.” If there are any debts or liens against the property, they will be discovered during the title search, and they must be paid off as a part of the closing. In North Carolina, marketable title is title that is free from reasonable doubt or any sort of threat of litigation. The title search is ultimately certified by your Real Estate Attorney. In North Carolina, an Attorney is the only person capable of certifying that title is free and clear, and marketable.


Property Taxes – In North Carolina, property tax is an annual tax that is calculated by your local government and paid by the owner of the property. This tax is “ad valorem,” which means that it is based on the value of the property. Every few years, a county assessor might revalue the property based on the current market value. As a part of the closing process, your Real Estate Attorney will calculate the property taxes for your home. The taxes are prorated between the buyer and seller on a calendar year basis. This means that you will either provide, or receive, a credit for your estimated portion of the tax bill for that calendar year. All of the property tax information will be reflected on your final settlement statement.


Closing Day – Once the closing documents are prepared, your Real Estate Attorney will facilitate the signing of the documents. On the day of closing, the buyer and usually the real estate agent, will meet at the conference room table where the attorney will walk them through each document, explaining each one as the parties execute them. Most importantly, your Real Estate Attorney will explain the settlement statement to ensure that all costs and credits are correct. Depending on whether the transaction is for cash, or if there is a loan being purchased, the documents will vary. After the closing documents have been signed, your Real Estate Attorney will record the deed with the Register of Deeds office, disburse the proceeds, and make any payments required as a part of the closing. Once that all has occurred, the transaction is final!


The real estate process in North Carolina can be complicated. North Carolina Real Estate Attorneys are your best line of defense against the numerous hazards that may affect you in the purchase or refinance of your home. Also, they will ensure that all closing documents are properly and legally prepared. If you have any questions, or would like assistance on a closing, please call 828-505-8514 or email realestate@lancasterlawfirm.com.


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This website includes information about current, past, and future potential legal issues and legal developments for educational purposes only. Such information is provided for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most recent legal developments. Posted information is not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice for a particular set of circumstances you may be experiencing. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.


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