Should you have an attorney handle the closing when you purchase a property or refinance property you already own? There are some things you should know before answering this question.
First, Kentucky does not require any type of certification, licensing, or training to handle a real estate closing. While licenses are required for many types of businesses, such as barbering, cosmetology, plumbing, HVAC, etc., anyone can open up a title company and start handling millions of dollars in escrow funds for closings. The company handling your closing will be responsible for transferring all of the money exchanged between the purchaser, buyer, and the lender and is responsible for making sure title to the property the buyer is purchasing is clear. These extremely important matters require a trustworthy and experienced title provider and often attorneys have the requisite training and experience to effectively handle these matters.
Second, legal issues often arise during the process of searching the title and closing the loan. Lien issues, survey defects, and issues interpreting the purchase contract regularly occur. Only an attorney can handle these legal issues. If an attorney is not handling the closing and a legal issue arises, the closing may have to be postponed while the parties seek legal advice. If an attorney is handling the closing, he or she may be able to remedy the issue without having to postpone the closing. If you have ever been involved in a delayed closing, you understand how stressful it is to have the process delayed! An attorney is a major advantage in this regard.
Third, attorneys are fiduciaries under Kentucky law. As fiduciaries, attorneys are held to high standards and must deal with each party to the transaction honestly and fairly. While we hope that anyone operating a title company would voluntarily hold themselves to these standards, it is not a requirement of non-attorney closing agents.
Fourth, attorneys handling real estate closings are normally no more expensive than title agents. The real estate knowledge and experience of the attorney means they can operate their business efficiently and pass those cost savings on to the consumer in the form of competitive prices. Using an attorney for your real estate closing is a way to get the skill and experience of an attorney for the same price as a non-attorney closing agent.
Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey has been handling residential and commercial real estate closings throughout central Kentucky for decades. At least one of our experienced real estate attorneys is involved in every closing we handle.
Lastly, as stated above, this is no small advantage to customers. We frequently work with lenders and are also able to assist with those selling their property “For Sale by Owner.” For your next real estate closing, chose Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey and put our experience and skill to work for you.