How to Choose a Closing Attorney?

Q: How to Choose a Closing Attorney?


If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, or refinance your existing mortgage, you may be wondering how to choose a closing attorney...and have the best, most outrageous closing experience possible. Here are a few tips.

  • Take Your Choice of Closing Attorney Seriously. Choosing the best closing experience is just as important as selecting the right mortgage lender or real estate agent. Never leave your decision up to someone else.

  • Stay Involved in the Process. I have been handling real estate transactions since 1997 and a huge observation I have made is that the most satisfied clients remain active participants during the entire closing and escrow period. I would estimate that about 95% of a real estate attorney’s work is done outside of the closing ceremony. Having a continuing dialog with the closing firm ensures that expectations will be met and that there will be no hidden surprises at the closing table.

  • Choose a Decision Maker for the Firm. It is not only important to work with a decision maker for the closing firm, but also important to make sure the same professional will handle your actual closing. Set your expectations up front with your closing attorney. Do you want to risk a closing situation and where you are put “on hold” until someone more senior is available to handle the matter?

  • Work with a Seasoned Professional. It takes years of practice to hone the necessary skills to effectively deal with the myriad of issues that arise throughout the escrow period. Real estate transactions are complicated, highly orchestrated events. Your best selection is an attorney who has handled thousands of closings.

  • Avoid Paid Referrals. If a real estate professional refers a particular firm, ask whether there is any affiliated business arrangement or marketing alliance between the two companies. If there is, ask for a second referral. A majority of consumers believe there is a conflict of interest when a real estate professional directly or indirectly accepts compensation for a referral. Since most professionals would probably not even consider their referral partner if it were not for the kickback, neither should you.


CHRIS PAHL
Real Estate Attorney
3575 Piedmont Road NE
Building 15, Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30305

Tel. +1 (404) 476-3736
email:
chris@GeorgiaTitle.com
web:
GeorgiaTitle.com | GetMyGFE.com

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What is involved in a real estate search?

Q: What is involved in a real estate search?


In the State of Georgia, our real estate recording system is based on a Grantor-Grantee index of documents recorded at the county real estate records office. Therefore, to locate a particular document affecting an interest in real estate would require knowing the name of an interested party. In contrast, some States use a system where all real estate filings related to a particular property can be easily located on a map.

In Georgia, a title search works like this– deeds recite the name of a grantor (the seller) and a grantee (the buyer). When the clerk of court accepts a deed for recording, an entry is made into a grantor index and a separate entry into a grantee index. A real estate search will research locate the current owner of record by searching backward in time in the grantee index. This will reveal the name of the party that last transferred (sold) the interest. That name is then searched in the grantee index and the process is repeated until a given period of time is covered. In a purchase closing, we typically search for a period 50 years since that is the professional standard in Georgia for determining marketability. Once the original grantor is located, the examination changes focus from the grantee index to the grantor index. The purpose of searching the grantor index is to identify all potential interests that have been given out such as prior conveyances and mortgages that may be outstanding. The search up to this point is based upon the deed record only. A proper real estate search would involve repeating the same search process in the lien index as well as various other court indices and dockets which may indicate a claim or interest to real estate.

In theory, a real estate search is fairly straightforward, but in practice they can be extremely complex and tedious.

CHRIS PAHL
Real Estate Attorney
3575 Piedmont Road NE
Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30305
Tel.
+1 (404) 476-3736
email:
chris@GeorgiaTitle.com
web:
GeorgiaTitle.com | GetMyGFE.com

Comments
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