Is an attorney required when buying or selling real property? 

Some states do require that your real estate transactions be handled by an attorney – at least in terms of the closing process. But in Florida, this isn’t the case and it is not actually a legal requirement. However, some issues could arise during the closing process that may mean that you need to find one. For some, having an attorney already means avoiding any potential hiccups in the closing process.

What will an attorney do for me during closing?

A good attorney will take care of everything involved in the real estate transaction and in the closing process as well. This includes title research, funds transfers, document reviews, witnessing, and more. And along with the specific legal guidance that an attorney provides, they also help alleviate some of the stress that can come from closing and also give you peace of mind that your transaction will move as smoothly as possible.

Can title companies handle the real estate closing process?

Florida requires state licensing that is backed by continuing education in order for title companies to operate. Title insurance companies focus on closing any real estate transaction, providing title insurance for these transactions, and on helping facilitate the best experience during the purchase.

What about title companies without an attorney backing them?

This is indeed possible to find, but it’s important that when you begin the process of buying any kind of real estate that you find an attorney backed closing company like King TitleLLC. This is because the backing of the attorney helps ensure that every step taken is the right one and that all of the closing process is managed as it should be. In short, it provides you with the confidence and security that going forward without an attorney won’t bring.

What does title insurance do?

Title insurance is a type of insurance coverage that is designed to protect the lender and the buyer of a real property against various problems that could be present within it. In particular, title insurance can protect against things like forged titles, undisclosed liens, easements, usage restrictions, errors in legal descriptions of the property, and more.

Who has to pay for title insurance policies? 

This varies, and the specifics of who is responsible for payment will be broken down in a real estate contract. However, in most instances it will be the buyer of the property who handles it. In refinance loans, the borrower almost always has to pay for the title insurance.

What is a “re-issue credit” and will I get one?

Florida’s Department of Insurance does allow reissue credits to occur in some situations. These are essentially a credit that is issued back to you which will reduce the overall price of title insurance. You won’t actually receive cash, but will instead receive this discounted rate on the title insurance. To qualify, the seller of the property must have purchased a title insurance policy within the last three years. Additionally, there must be a change of ownership. Your title insurance company will review any existing owner’s title insurance policy and then look to determine whether or not a credit can be issued. If so, it could be several hundred dollars – saving you a considerable amount of money during the purchasing process.

Can I receive a homestead exemption?

A homestead exemption is a system that was put in place to help provide those who live permanently in Florida with a discounted taxable rate. With these exemptions, Florida residents who can show that they reside in the property on a permanent basis could reduce their taxable value by up to $50,000. This can mean a savings on annual property taxes of as much as $750. If you can show that you reside or will reside in the property permanently and file the application between January and March of the year in question, you could receive this exemption.

Am I required to attend the actual closing?

Technically, no, you aren’t legally required to attend the closing process on a real estate transaction. With many Florida property buyers being from out of town or out of the country, it’s actually fairly common to use encrypted emails, overnight couriers, and certified mail to help facilitate the closing process. And with a good attorney on your side, this is easy to do. Our team can even accept a Power of Attorney in cases that allow for it to occur. However, being present at the closing helps speed up the process, ensure that no problems arise, and increases confidence in all parties involved. In short, while you may not be required to be present, it’s a much better idea.

What about 1031 closings?

Our team can also handle the more specialized process of handling 1031 exchanges, if that is the situation. In short, we’re ready to help make any of your title service needs.