Buyer: "Why do I need my own attorney if the seller will provide one?"

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Lane Realty GREC# 169695

In many Georgia foreclosure sales the seller has an attorney and tries ever hard to make the buyer use their closing attorney.  I've had attorney offices argue with me about my buyer not being "allowed" to use their own attorney.  They even tried to "bride" them with FREE title insurance.  I advise my buyer clients to hire their own closing attorney and they sometimes ask "Why do I need my own attorney if the seller will provide me with one?"

Well if it's the seller's attorney, who do you think he represents?  And do you actually think he would care about your best interests?  And do you realized that title policy he gives you leaves a gap period?  Do you know what a gap period is?  Well the closing attorney I recommend explains to my buyers what the gap period is and why their title insurance policy is not issued at closing, but instead AFTER their new deed is recorded. 

The gap.... is the time between when the seller signs the deed after a title search has already been conducted and the deed is recorded.  For example if the seller had work done on the home on Tuesday, sold it on Friday and didn't pay the contractor and on Monday before the deed is filed that contractor who did the prior work files a lien on the home it would fall in the gap period.  And attorney who represents the seller is not going to "re-check" title from previous time of check until new deed is recorded and then issue title insurance where the gap is closed, but the attorney I recommend will be doing that because he represents YOU the buyer.

And if you are a cash buyer the attorney represents YOU the buyer.  If you are a buyer obtaining a loan the closing attorney will represent YOUR lender.  But never the seller.  So you came to me because you wanted to represented as a buyer, shouldn't you also have an attorney on your side?  I think so. 

If you have questions about real estate I am willing to find you the answers.  We work hard for our clients. 

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Rainmaker
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John M. Scott
Broker / Owner San Francisco Real Estate
BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties

Tammy, here in northern CA we don't have closing attorneys. Here the Title Company takes that role, both for escrow and title. In So Cal they have separate escrow companies and title companies. CA passed a law that says the REO can't force the buyer to use their title company, but they make it almost impossible not to. 

May 17, 2012 07:49 PM
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Brenda Mullen
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!
RE/MAX Access

Hi Tammy, we have Title Companies here as well.  Although everything is negotiable, generally the seller will pick the Title Company as they pay for the owner policy.  They are a neutral party however and don't represent one side or the other.  

May 17, 2012 08:07 PM
Rainmaker
466,326
Cindy Westfall
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon

Hi Tammy, Even though we don't use Attorneys here in Portland, this is such a great post to let the buyers know the importance of having another advocate for them in their corner.

May 17, 2012 08:28 PM
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Tammy Lankford
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)
Lane Realty

Mona- sellers rarely have an attorney, mostly just foreclosure sales in GA.

John- they attempted to make it impossible here, but I fight them tooth and nail.

Brenda-sellers pay for buyers title insurance... wow, that's different

Cindy- I learn so much about other states from agents.  I'd never venture to purchase in another state with a great agent to guide me on the local state issues.

May 17, 2012 08:47 PM
Rainmaker
533,953
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate

Good post, what to comment.... We end up using a local title company more offten thatn attornies it seems... Thanks for sharing

May 18, 2012 08:13 AM
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Tammy Lankford

Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)
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