Who Are All These People? What The Title Agent, Notary And Attorney Do At A Real Estate Title Closin
You will encounter many different professionals at the closing on your home purchase. Understanding what each one does and how they work for you will ease any confusion you may have leading up to the closing.
Beyond your agent and mortgage lender, many others have been busy doing research on your behalf, reviewing and preparing documents. It is on closing day that you will meet face to face some of these people. The main players involved in the closing are the title agency, attorney and the notary public.
The Real Estate Title Agency
The real estate title agency has many different roles in the closing process. It should be noted that the company, and its agents, are impartial service providers. One duty of the agency is to put together an abstract of the property. The abstract explains in great detail the location and history of the property. As part of this, a survey may be ordered. A title search is also conducted which will identify any liens against the property, taxes owed or other known issues. Finally, it is the responsibility of the agency to make sure all state and federal paperwork is properly filed. If the real estate title company is also serving as the closing agent, a representative will go through all of the paperwork with both the buyer and seller. The agency will also receive and distribute all payments given and received by both parties. For as much work as the real estate agency performs, it cannot provide legal advice.
Clients wishing to have a complete legal review of their closing paperwork may hire an attorney. These attorneys have specialized training in property law. The main job of the lawyer is to ensure your interests and rights are protected and your duties clearly defined. They provide legal advice if needed. Their role can be as broad or as narrow as the client wants it to be. They may only review the purchase agreement or they may review every piece of paperwork from the title search to the survey to the purchase agreement and lending document. A lawyer may represent either the buyer or the seller. However, it is unlikely that the same attorney would represent both buyer and seller in the same transaction, as that would create a conflict of interest.
The Notary Public
A notary public will almost always be involved in a property closing. Notaries are public officials of the state in which they are licensed. They are charged with serving as an impartial witness to the signing of legal documents. Notaries are unbiased, neutral participants in the closing, whose job it is to ensure all documents are legitimate and no fraud is being committed. Their main responsibility is to make sure the correct person is signing the documents. A notary public does not have the ability to provide legal advice, nor can they prepare legal documents on their own. They can only notarize documents prepared by others.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Harmen writes for Title Junction, a Fort Myers real estate title agency. The company serves clients throughout Florida and Fort Myers. Escrow and