State law dictates whether an attorney is required at a real estate closing, and North Carolina has a law that all real estate closings must take place with a North Carolina licensed attorney. In North Carolina, real estate attorneys handle “real property” transactions and the main role that an attorney does in a real estate transaction is to make sure that there is a legal transfer of property from seller to buyer. A big misconception about real estate lawyers for real estate closings is that they just have their clients ‘sign here, sign there,’ on all the paperwork, and do nothing more. However, real estate lawyers play a critical role in the buying and selling of property. For example, closing attorneys have all sorts of responsibilities such as holding earnest money in their trust accounts, performing title searches and examinations, negotiating title insurance, reviewing and explaining settlement costs, drafting and submitting deeds,
among many other obligations.
Real estate attorneys representing the seller's side of the transaction for a real estate closing ensure that the seller’s best interest is wholly addressed in the sale contract. The seller’s real estate attorneys are responsible for drafting the real estate documents for the seller that comply with local, state, and federal laws. Further, they will review all documents in their entirety, and make sure to address and fix any issues that may arise. Real estate attorneys representing the buyer’s side of a transaction for a real
estate closing ensure that the buyer’s best interest is wholly addressed in the sale contract. The real estate attorneys representing the buyers confirm that you are “receiving the property free and clear of any encumbrances and that all the terms of the contract are met.” (forhomebuyers.com). Moreover, real estate attorneys representing buyers often handle title searches and title insurance, to make sure
that there are no outstanding claims or liens against the property before the closing occurs.
Additionally, real estate attorneys can represent both the seller and buyer in North Carolina if there will
be no adverse effect on the interests of both clients and the client's consent.
Buying and selling homes can become a complex transaction. If a real estate transaction becomes problematic, it is best to have a real estate attorney helping you and looking out for your best interests. Real estate attorneys are employed to help protect clients from legal disputes in real estate closings and to simplify the closing process for a smooth sale.
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