In some states, you’re required to hire a lawyer to close your real estate transaction. In Ohio, this is not the case. In fact, many real estate transactions take place without any lawyers involved at all–and these transactions account for most losses from botched deals and titles. All the more reason to hire a lawyer to guide you through the closing process.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, our closing representation package can offer you the following peace of mind:
- Contract drafting and negotiation
- Review of all documents to be signed
- Communication with the title agency to coordinate the closing process
- Examination of the title commitment and title report
- Preparation of escrow instructions
Contract drafting and negotiation
All real estate sales must be in writing per Ohio law. The writing can be on the back of a napkin or it can be a purpose-built multi-page document. You can guess which one causes less hair-pulling at closing. A good contract anticipates the most common sticking points and addresses head-on what happens when these contingencies occur. A good lawyer will draft the contract for you to protect your interests in case things go south.
A typical loan transaction involves over 100 pages of documents for the borrower to sell. Even the seller usually has to sign 20+ pages of documents for the title company’s protection. It’s important to have an experienced eye review all of them to make sure there aren’t any Easter eggs that will hurt you later.
Communication with the title agency
The most important aspect of any real estate transaction is prompt and open communication at all stages of the process. Without it, deals get stalled. We won’t let that happen to you.
Examination of title commitment and report
The bread-and-butter of a title company’s work is the title commitment. This document, like a homeowner’s insurance binder, commits the title company to issue a policy once the deal closes and the deed gets recorded. It also tells much more of a story about the deal than a homeowner’s binder–it lists out what the title company requires to happen before issuing a policy, and lists all of the items it will not insure against. This document and its attachments is critical to review and investigate for potential problems. More times than not, a deal closes where the buyer never read this document, and later discovers that an easement for a driveway runs through a very inconvenient part of the property. It is critical to have this document reviewed thoroughly.
One of the very simple things we do to ensure your protection is to prepare a list of escrow instructions for the title company. Whenever a party to an escrow transaction sends escrow instructions to a title company, they must abide by them or resign from the deal. All lenders use escrow instructions to force the title company to handle their money and the transaction properly, but most buyers and sellers don’t know that this is an option for them too. Using escrow instructions can significantly reduce your liability from a botched transaction and put the full responsibility on the title insurance underwriter–unlike the agency you deal with on a day-to-day basis, a fully funded corporation that can’t disappear tomorrow–to make you whole.