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What Closing Attorneys Do


A closing attorney ensures that the seller has clear title to the property and may assist in resolving any old liens, loans, levies, probate, or other issues affecting the seller’s ability to sell the property.  The closing attorney who certifies title is able to offer title insurance to the lender, buyer, or seller.


The number of documents necessary to transfer property, especially when debt is involved, can be staggering.  The attorney assists in the preparation of these documents, including deeds, promissory notes, security agreements, settlement statements, and many others.  The attorney then explains those documents to the parties at the closing so that everyone can have a better understanding of their rights and obligations.


The closing attorney may serve as the settlement agent.  This involves getting payoffs from mortgage companies, prorating homeowners’ association dues, condo fees, property taxes, real estate commissions, and any number of other items that have to be dealt with and prorated upon the transfer of property.  This includes making sure that the seller’s mortgage gets paid or released, and that the seller is paid.  This part of the service is often referred to as “escrow,” as the funds for the total purchase of the property are held in the attorney’s escrow account until being distributed out to the appropriate parties.


Many of the documents which are executed during the closing must be recorded.  The closing attorney makes sure that the appropriate documents are recorded, and that the clerk’s office is paid for recording and maintaining those records.

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