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Do you need an attorney at your closing?

Florida law does not require an attorney be present at a real estate closing, but there are definitely good reasons to have one. If you are purchasing commercial real estate property, it is doubtful you will want to "not" have a real estate attorney.

If you have ever been a part of a real estate closing, you know that there are numerous documents involved. For starters, just a few of those documents are a purchase and sale contract, a transfer deed, a Certificate of Non-Foreign Status and a closing statement.

Having a real estate attorney draft these documents protects both the buyer and the seller. Your real estate broker or agent may be able to draft some of these documents, but unfortunately, they cannot provide legal advice unless they are licensed to practice law in the state of Florida.

Another part of a real estate sale is dealing with the title insurance company. They will do a thorough background search to see if any liens or other ownership rights exist on the property. If anything is found, it must be resolved before the sale can go through. This can be a harrowing process if there are issues needing resolved.

If the property is being financed, the mortgage company or lender must be dealt with as well. Keep in mind that you do not have to use an appointed attorney for the lending process. You have a right to hire your own real estate attorney, per the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Having your own attorney assures you that your best interests are being upheld.

Source: Zacks, "Is It Necessary to Have an Attorney at Closing in Florida?," accessed Feb. 27, 2018

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