Title Co. vs. RE Lawyer (which to use???) - Posted by Dan B.

Posted by Rob FL on April 09, 1999 at 17:31:43:

Although I won’t tell you not to get a lawyer, most title companies will check the title and conduct the closing as well as any lawyer as long as it is a simple residential deal.

The title company will probably use the local realtor forms.

The zoning check could be made by you. One quick call down to city hall.

I don’t know what P&S means, so I can’t answer.

I only would use an attorney on the messier deals if it were me. At least in Florida, the closing costs with an attorney involved are about double that of a title company.

Title Co. vs. RE Lawyer (which to use???) - Posted by Dan B.

Posted by Dan B. on April 09, 1999 at 09:41:37:

I’ll soon be ready to put an offer on a property, but I need to also do some research into the property first. No realtors are involved. I’m not sure of what a Title Company can give me that a RE lawyer cannot (and vice versa). Do I need both?
I’m thinking about things like: how to find if there are any title/deed problems with the property, are there any liens, who can research/overcome zoning problems, who is better at RE forms, who completes the P&S, etc.

Thanks for any advice.

Re: Title Co. vs. RE Lawyer (which to use???) - Posted by Dave T

Posted by Dave T on April 11, 1999 at 12:34:30:

In MD, my title company closings were conducted by a lawyer who was an employee of the title company. The title company performed the title search, issued the title policy binder, and the lender’s and owner’s title insurance.

The lawyer conducting my closing even found a couple of errors that the mortgage company had made in document preparation. I would prefer to use a title company lawyer, because that is their bread and butter business. I am not sure if an outside lawyer would do enough business during a year to be current on everything. I don’t want to pay a lawyer to “learn” while doing my closing.

The P&S (or PSA, or Purchase and Sale Agreement) is completed between you and the seller. Once you have both signatures, give your P&S to the lawyer doing the closing.

In contrast, South Carolina does not have title companies. All settlements are conducted by law firms and most will tend to have real estate specialists on staff.

If your state has title companies and lawyers, I would opt for the title company.

Title Co. vs. RE Lawyer (which to use???) - Posted by Jamie M. Perez (TX)

Posted by Jamie M. Perez (TX) on April 11, 1999 at 09:08:20:

Hi Dan B.,

I’m a newbie too. When I first started, I called lawyers and asked realtors and other investors about this issue. I think that RobFL is correct about costs and simple transactions. BUT, since I was fortunate enough to find a lawyer who is an investor and has 25 years of experience, I’m willing to pay his higher rates. Keep in mind that if you go with a lawyer who is not familiar with the types of deals you’re doing, you’ll be wasting dollars. (I passed on the first real estate lawyer I asked to represent us.) Since I’m having enough trouble finding motivated sellers and structuring deals at this point, I personally feel more comfortable using a lawyer for closing. I have no problem with paying title companies for searches, though.