Do you really need an attorney for a real estate closing? In Illinois, the answer is yes for home buyers, as it’s required by law. But hiring an attorney is also a good idea. After all, purchasing your home will be one of your largest financial transactions that you’ll make in your life – if not the largest financial transaction.
But what is a real estate attorney?
According to Forbes “A real estate attorney a licensed professional who handles the legal responsibilities related to real estate transactions. The attorney can represent the buyer, seller or lender’s interests.”
As you can see, there may be other real estate attorneys involved with the closing. You will want one to look out for your interests.
A good real estate attorney can protect you from costly mistakes, ensure that there are no errors in the legal documents, and safeguard against other problems that could lead to an expensive legal action. In part, your real estate attorney will:
- Negotiate the specific terms of the contract on your behalf – be sure not to sign the contract before hiring the lawyer – or review it if you’d already signed it. They might also draft the contract.
- Review the inspection reports and negotiate credits for any needed repairs to the property.
- Review the terms of your loan to ensure that they are standard and appropriate and explain them to you, so there are no surprises later on.
- Conduct a title search to ensure that there are no issues that could interfere with taking possession of the property. Issues that could be uncovered include liens against the property and unpaid property taxes. The lawyer might even find that the home seller does not have the rights transfer the title to you.
- Help you take out title insurance in case there are issues with the title that were not discovered during the title search.
- Evaluate all documents, such as the deed, mortgage, survey, closing statement, and seller disclosure statement.
- If you’re buying a condo or co-op, review the condo or co-op documents such as the declarations and bylaws, rules and regulations, financials, and the meeting minutes. Your attorney will also check the condo disclosure statement to see if there are any liens or planned special assessments.
- Attend the closing in case there any last-minute issues that might need resolving.
For a list of excellent, local real estate attorneys please call 847-274-6676, email us at Jackie Mack and More, or go to Jackie’s List. We can also advise you on the questions you need to ask the lawyer to determine if they are right for you. After all, we’re here to help you every step of the home buying and home selling process as well as to get the most enjoyment out of your home and your life in Evanston.