Who Does the Closing Attorney Represent?

Updated February 16, 2024
12 min read
Who Does the Closing Attorney Represent?

Navigating the complicated legal landscape when buying or selling a property can be challenging for both parties. Understanding the role and choosing the right closing attorney can provide professional guidance and help ensure a smooth journey. This article delves into the role, representation, and benefits of engaging a closing attorney.

Defining a Closing Attorney

Everyone's priorities differ when purchasing or selling a property, leading to a process that can quickly become complex for both parties and potentially go off track. With many legal intricacies to navigate, engaging a knowledgeable professional to guide and inform you can be a wise decision.

People often associate "attorney" with unsettling circumstances, such as criminal charges, divorce, or family bereavement. Also, those aspiring to own a home rarely consider the importance of hiring a real estate closing attorney. 

However, engaging such an attorney can enable individuals to concentrate more on their new property and less on the daunting task of collecting numerous documents and navigating tedious processes. This brings us to the question: what does a closing attorney do, and whom do they represent?

Actual updates
|
8 pages
PDF
|
3.8K created templates

Streamline your property transaction with our purchase agreement template

Real Estate Purchase & Sale Agreement Preview
Preview
Create & Download

Representation by a Closing Attorney

In real estate transactions, a closing attorney can represent the buyer or seller, functioning diligently to safeguard their best interests. Alternatively, they may serve in a dual capacity, ensuring that both parties are engaged in a fair deal that complies with the law.

Their role can also extend to representing the interests of a mortgage lender, particularly in transactions involving a mortgage loan. This versatility makes them an invaluable resource during complex real estate transactions.

Choosing a Closing Attorney

The choice of a closing attorney is crucial and can differ significantly based on geographical location, with state laws dictating the decision's governing principles. It's essential for both the buyer and the seller to realize that they both stand to benefit from the proficiency of a talented closing attorney. Consequently, they must mutually agree on a closing attorney who can represent both interests.

Considering the complexity and legal subtleties associated with real estate transactions, the role of a closing attorney presents a significant potential influence on the transaction's conclusion. Thus, the selection must be performed meticulously, ensuring that the chosen professional holds the necessary competence and experience to oversee the transaction effectively. In a similar vein, understanding the intricacies of establishing a Power of Attorney for Child is imperative for parents or guardians aiming to handle legal matters on behalf of minors responsibly.

Actual updates
|
3 pages
PDF
|
1.8K created templates

Craft your power of attorney for child now

Power of Attorney for Child Preview
Preview
Create & Download

Thus, choosing an attorney with the necessary expertise and the ability to serve both parties effectively can significantly simplify the process and ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction.

The Need for Hiring a Closing Attorney

Navigating the sometimes labyrinthine process of real estate transactions can be challenging, especially in certain situations. Here are specific scenarios where a closing attorney's expertise can be especially beneficial:

  1. Purchasing real estate in a different town, state, or country: When buying property in a new jurisdiction, a closing attorney can navigate unfamiliar legal terrain and ensure the transaction adheres to relevant laws.

  2. Buying or selling a property with significant complications: Whether structural problems, historic preservation issues, or property line disputes exist, a closing attorney can help resolve these complexities within the law.

  3. Dealing with the sale of a property that forms part of a divorce settlement: In such delicate situations, a closing attorney can professionally handle the legal aspects, ensuring the transaction is fair and legally sound for all parties involved.

  4. Attempting to sell a property under a mortgage due to severe financial constraints: In this case, a closing attorney can ensure that all paperwork and legal matters are meticulously handled to prevent further economic stress.

  5. Acquiring real estate through special sales, such as estate sales: These types of sales often involve additional legal complexities, making the guidance of a closing attorney essential.

In all these situations, a closing attorney ensures that you are legally protected and that the sale or purchase of the property goes smoothly.

Costs Involved

Enjoying the benefits of a closing attorney's expertise comes with associated costs that should be considered upfront. The fees charged by a closing attorney can vary substantially, but here are some typical price ranges to get a general idea of potential expenditure.


Most closing attorneys in the U.S. typically charge hourly rates ranging from $150 to $350. The rates often correlate with the attorney's experience and expertise in the field.

Alternatively, some attorneys may opt for fixed-rate services. In such cases, the overall cost is determined by the type of services offered and can range from $500 to $2000. This fee is contingent upon various factors, including the complexity of the contract involved. Often, the cost may also correlate with the price of the property in question.

In conclusion, while engaging a closing attorney incurs costs, it also provides invaluable legal guidance in navigating the complexities of a real estate transaction.

Weighing Advantages vs. Disadvantages

Engaging a closing attorney for a real estate transaction is a significant decision that may present advantages and disadvantages depending on the specific circumstances. Here are some potential pros and cons to be aware of:

Advantages:

  1. Legal advice: A closing attorney provides legal advice throughout the complex process of real estate transactions, helping you navigate the legal landscape of buying or selling a property.

  2. Documentation: They verify the accuracy and legitimacy of documentation, ensuring all paperwork is in order and correctly executed, which is especially crucial for avoiding potential legal issues down the line.

  3. Negotiations: A closing attorney also handles negotiations, helping you secure a deal that meets your preferences and protects your rights.

Disadvantages:

  1. Costs: The associated costs are one of the main downsides of hiring a closing attorney. These can add up, particularly for a straightforward transaction with unlikely legal complications.

  2. Over-complication: Another potential disadvantage is that a closing attorney might, at times, be excessively contentious over minor contract issues or make the process seem more complicated, which could lead to unnecessary tension and delays.

  3. Dependency: While it's beneficial to have a closing attorney handling your transaction, complete reliance on their advice without your due diligence could be disadvantageous.

While hiring a closing attorney offers significant advantages, it's essential to consider potential downsides to make an informed decision.

Conclusion

Hiring a closing attorney is beneficial in managing complex legal processes involved in property transactions. Despite potential downsides, their assistance in navigating the property purchase or sale adds an immeasurable value, making their engagement a wise decision.

Article by
Yevheniia Savchenko
Lawrina

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the product or UX content for Lawrina, feel free to contact Yevheniia directly at y.savchenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.