Do you have to use a lawyer for closing and if not, should you use a lawyer for closing? Can you choose to just use the Title Company to complete the closing? Can they help with your contract? Hold your earnest money in their escrow account?
The reality is the answer is maybe yes and maybe no SO your first step to determining your closing options is to contact a title company in the county where your property is located and ask them. Of course, you can also do an online search as simple as “Closing options in _______ County in _____State.”
Some states still require you, as a seller, to have an attorney at closing. If this is the case, it will serve you well to choose an attorney when you put your home on the market so as soon as you receive an offer, you can contact them to negotiate your contract and if accepted, begin to process for the closing.
Some states do not require sellers to have an attorney. This gives you options:
- Review and negotiate offers yourself (your background may give you confidence in doing this without assistance).
- Choose a Title Company to handle your closing and negotiate with them: ie:”If I commit to use you for my closing will you assist me with my contract and hold my earnest money in your account?” Some will say, absolutely. Others may agree to do this for you but charge you an additional fee for the help. Others may say no in which case, again if you’re in a state that does not require you to use an attorney, keep shopping other Title Companies.
- If you’re uncomfortable about walking through the process without an attorney, shop around and hire one. The cost will be worth your lowered stress.
Tip: If you purchased the home you’re selling within the last few years and you felt the title company did a great job and your closing was smooth, contact them and let them know that you have confidence in them and want to use them again. They will be grateful for your acknowledgement and possibly be even more helpful that you thought they would.
Tip 2: When shopping around for a title company or an attorney, get referrals. If you have an attorney that handles other areas of your business or personal business, ask them who they would use to close their deal? You can also ask that attorney or friends you know who have recently closed on their own sale and ask them…how was your closing? How good was the title company that closed their deal? Referrals are a great way to shop around but make sure and still do your own due diligence.