Real Estate

Do You Need an Attorney When Closing on a Home?

Kristin Watson
Marketing Advisor
January 5, 2023
2 Min

Buying a home is a major commitment and, for many people, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. It can also be an extremely complex legal process, so even a minor mistake can cause unexpected delays or derail the sale entirely. If you’re closing on a home, hiring a residential real estate attorney can streamline the process and prevent problems before they arise. Use this guide to learn more about the process and how these individuals can help.

What Residential Real Estate Attorneys Do

Real estate agents typically use standard forms that may not reflect the details of the sale you negotiated. An experienced attorney can review the sales agreement before you sign it and bring your attention to terms that may be against your best interests. They can even draw up the contract for you, ensuring you are aware of all included stipulations.

residential real estate attorney

If any liens or competing interests come to light after the sale, you’ll be financially responsible, even if you didn’t know about them before the purchase. A residential real estate attorney reviews public records, wills, and deeds to ensure the seller has a clear title to the property before it's transferred to you.

How Attorneys Help at Closing

At the closing, your attorney will explain the purpose of each document so you know exactly what you’re signing. They’ll also review the financing paperwork, looking for mistakes and errors that could affect your debt burden later. Many lawyers will also handle the transfer of earnest money and other funds, eliminating the risk of delays in funding that could derail the sale.

While residential real estate attorneys don’t have to participate in every aspect of the sale, Connecticut law does require a lawyer to handle some aspects of the transaction. For instance, only a practicing attorney can issue title insurance or provide advice on legal contracts.

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