Real Estate Attorneys
In Kentucky, anyone can handle a real estate transaction, Real Estate Attorneys are not required. No license is required and no state or local agencies oversee the closing process. However, this is no place to cut costs! I believe that it is critical to have qualified Real Estate Attorneys involved in the sale and purchase of real estate because many legal issues can arise that require the education and experience of a professional. Locally our Real Estate Attorneys also play a significant role in assuring that the title is transferred clear to the new owner and that all proceeds are distributed properly. This is a complex process and therefore most lenders will require the participation of a Real Estate Closing Attorney for any transaction involving a loan from their company.
While all attorneys are regulated by the Kentucky Bar Association http://www.kybar.org/ not all are qualified to conduct Real Estate Law and definitely not all are created equal when it comes to customer service. Even different types of Real Estate transactions could require a different specialty within Real Estate Law. Ask-Garrett affiliates only with the best RE Attorneys in the Louisville area and can help you decide on the best option for your specific RE needs. See below for more info on the The Closing Process and be sure to check out my Preferred Provider List for the Attorneys who I recommend.
Six Basic Steps of Closing
Closing the real estate transaction is basically the investigation made or actions taken by either a title agent or title attorney before the actual issuance of the title policy. There are six basic steps that usually followed in somewhat the same order in every real estate transaction. Although it is not the job of the title agent or title attorney to cure defects in or problems with the title to the property or perform escrow or other services outside of closing the transaction, title agents and title attorney help in these matters on a somewhat regular basis.
Opening the Title Order
An "escrow" or "sales" contract (agreement to close) starts the process.
Processing the File
Processing the file is when tax information, loan payoffs, survey if necessary, homeowner/maintenance fees, inspections/reports, and hazard and other insurances as well as legal papers are ordered and title commitments/preliminary reports are reviewed and sent out.
Search made of the public records. Records searched include deeds, mortgages, paving assessments, liens, wills, divorce settlements and other documents affecting title to the property.
Title examination is the examination of the documents found during the title search that affect the title to the property. This is when verification of the legal owner is made and the debts owed against the property are determined.
Document Preparation and/or Request to Produce
Review lender instructions/ requirements, review instructions from other parties to transaction, review legal and loan documents, assemble charges, and prepare closing statements and set closing.
Settlement/Closing the Transaction
Escrow/Settlement officer oversees closing of transaction. Seller signs deed, buyer signs new mortgage, Old loan is paid off, new mortgage is signed. Seller, real estate agents, attorneys and other parties to the transaction are paid. Documents are recorded in the county in which the property is located.