How to Find a Real Estate Attorney September 4, 2020
During the process of getting a home or land loan, you’ll need to obtain the services of an attorney. Andrea Griffin, an agri-consumer lender with Carolina Farm Credit in the Albemarle branch, says that while the loan application is in the works, it is a good time to begin researching which attorney you would like to work with you. She shares these tips:
- Referrals are helpful. Ask your lender or a trusted friend for names of real estate attorneys. Your lender works with attorneys on a regular basis and will be happy to make a referral.
- Ask about fees associated with the transaction. Fees can vary depending on the time required to get all paperwork in order and whether any issues will need to be addressed.
- Inquire about estimated time to close. Attorneys’ work schedules are different. If you are in a hurry, the attorney timeframe may help you decide which attorney to choose.
After you decide on an attorney, Andrea recommends the following:
- If you know what you are going to purchase, go ahead and have your attorney look over a legal description of the property to make sure it is sufficient. The attorney should be able to tell you if you will need a survey or whether any kind of oddities about the property are of concern.
- Carolina Farm Credit requires title insurance so it can be helpful to talk with your attorney about how title insurance protects you against claims against the property. The lender will require title insurance that covers both the homeowner and the lender. This can help protect both if a dispute arises during a sale.
It’s your attorney’s job to protect you. He or she will prepare and check documents such as purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents, and transfer documents. Much of the work will be done after your initial meeting and before the closing. It is also your attorney’s job to make sure the paperwork is filed with the proper authorities at county and state levels.
When it comes to the closing, your attorney will advise you on the time, location, and what to bring, such as whether to bring a certified check, the amount and who it is payable to or whether to wire the funds, which is becoming more common. You will also likely need your driver’s license.
Your Carolina Farm Credit lender is available through the entire loan process with the goal of making everything go smoothly.
See Home and Land Loans 101 for Andrea’s tips on preparing to seek a loan and documents and information needed when applying for a loan.
By Leah Chester-Davis