Buying or Selling Real Estate in Virginia? Experienced Lawyers for Real Estate Answer the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Buying and selling real estate can be complicated. After the initial excitement wears off, you can quickly find yourself drowning in a sea of paperwork, wondering what to do. But not everyone understands every aspect of buying or selling real estate.

On the other hand, real estate attorneys have the experience necessary to answer all of your questions. Rather than trying to figure it all out on your own, contact an experienced real estate attorney if you are considering buying or selling real estate.

What is a Closing?

This is a common question almost every real estate buyer or seller asks. Closing is essentially a settlement. During the closing process, the purchase and sale of documents or loan documents are executed by those involved in the sale and purchase of real estate. The property transfer is recorded, and the rest of the details are finalized.

If you are purchasing real estate, it's common practice to be represented by a real estate attorney at closing and the other stages of the transaction. The seller will also likely have an attorney.  You will sign the required documentation with your real estate attorney.  Then, your attorney will meet with the seller’s representative to exchange documents, record the deed, and disburse the proceeds.

What is Title Insurance?

When you are purchasing real estate, one of the essential steps is to acquire the title. The title confirms that you have received ownership rights of the real estate. But, sometimes problems with the sale can arise. The purchase can end up costing you much more money than you planned and significantly impact your finances. For this reason, obtaining title insurance is crucial.

Multiple factors can result in a bad title. Code violations and legal complications are unfortunately common. You may even find that the person you purchased real estate from had no legal right to sell it in the first place. These are a few scenarios where title insurance comes into play. It protects homebuyers and lenders from costs or damages caused by a bad title. While an experienced real estate attorney can help examine the title, it is common to use a title insurance company to perform this function today. But real estate attorneys can provide legal advice and explain the details of all documents involved in the process.

What Does Title Insurance Cover?

As previously mentioned, title insurance protects homebuyers and lenders. As such, there are two different types of title insurance. As the name suggests, owner's title insurance protects the owner of real estate. Lender’s title insurance, on the other hand, protects a lender that holds a deed of trust on an owner’s property.

The real estate owner usually obtains owner’s title insurance during the initial purchase of the real estate. It remains valid for an indefinite period.

Lenders almost always require a lender’s title insurance policy for any loans secured by real estate. Once the mortgage holder pays off the loan, the policy expires; however, lenders require a new policy for each new loan, refinance, or home equity loan.

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney for My Settlement?

In Virginia, the law allows an attorney or a settlement company to conduct settlements. But if you would like legal advice, you must consult a licensed attorney. A settlement company cannot draft legal documents for closing or explain the content of any documents others prepared. Only a licensed attorney can explain the documents and provide legal advice during these situations.

Although you don’t have to hire an attorney for a settlement in Virginia, it is a good idea to do so. No one likes to read through the minutiae of complicated legal documents, but someone has to do it.  An experienced real estate attorney will know every detail of your transactions and ensure that everything works out just as you planned.

Contact McCarthy & Akers, PLC, Today

If you are considering buying or selling real estate in Virginia, contact McCarthy & Akers today. Our experienced real estate attorneys will answer all of your questions and ensure your real estate transaction goes smoothly. Whether it's closing or questions about title insurance, we are here to help. Reach out today for a consultation by calling (540) 277-9865 or completing our online form.


Copyright© 2022. McCarthy & Akers, PLC. All rights reserved.


The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

McCarthy & Akers, PLC
302 W Boscawen St.
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 277-9865

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