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The Roles of Closing Attorneys In Connecticut Real Estate

Closing attorneys are third parties in real estate transactions, who ensure that the services for settlement of said transactions go are facilitated effectively and go smoothly. These attorneys are required in some states, though in other states title or escrow agents serve these essential functions. Because of all of the legal jargon and complexity of the roles of attorneys in real estate deals, many buyers and sellers without considerable experience or legal backgrounds have no idea what closing attorneys do to ensure that deals are successful. From intake to closing, closing attorneys are involved in some of the most essential functions in the whole process.

What a Closing Attorney Does

Closing attorneys serve several essential functions in closing a real estate transaction. They examine title records, combing for errors or concerns delay or otherwise derail the current sale. These errors can be fatal to a real estate deal, making these attorneys essential. Resolving possible issues discovered during this process is another responsibility of a closing attorney in addition to checking the legality of the potential seller making the deal to sell the property. Closing attorneys also work to negotiate and explain to both parties the terms of the contracts and loans involved in the transaction and evaluate the documents involved to ensure accuracy which will facilitate the deal going through. One of the major roles played by a closing attorney is in the examination of the title, one of the most important documents in the process, and due to their specializing in the closing aspects of a real estate deal, their focus is more narrow than that of a real estate attorney in general. When title first arrives, sent by the lender, a municipal lien certificate is ordered by the closing attorney, ensuring that the real estate taxes have been paid, in addition to the other municipal charges applied to the property. The closing attorney also orders insurance binders and payoffs of mortgages. The title examination process is a big part of what a closing attorney does and can be a complex and involved process. Research in title examination goes back 50 years and involves a careful review of the title to ensure there are no defects and negotiations between the parties when an issue arises. A closing attorney must, legally, provide new home buyers a certification of title which, given some possible title defects can be difficult to obtain because of the difficulty resolving them.

Closing attorneys also coordinate the issuing of title insurance to new home buyers and to lenders which can be tremendously important given how significant the effects of title defects can be on future sales or refinancing efforts. Real world examples abound of the significance of possible title defects, making a closing attorney's role in evaluating titles and providing insurance even more crucial. Closing attorneys, as the closing date comes nearer, coordinate preparation and delivery of closing documents with the lender including, but not limited to, mortgage, truth in lending disclosures, promissory notes, and HUD settlement statements. Moreover, the closing attorney is responsible for these areas, among other things:

  • Disclosing and payment of closing costs and lender fees
  • Paying recording fees and transfer taxes
  • Pre-paid interest payment
  • Sales proceed distribution
  • Mortgage discharges and payoffs
  • Allocation and payment of real estate taxes and utilities.

After all of this the closing attorney conducts the closing, explaining the documents signed by buyer and seller, distributing funds and processing loan funding after the closing among other things. The closing attorney records all recordable instruments and handles any other logistical, legal concerns.

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