Since real estate is such a large purchase or sale, who you hire to help you through that process is an important decision. Many individuals don’t fully understand the difference between title attorneys and title agents, or may even assume they are the same thing. However, there are key differences in how these two groups of professionals function and in what they’re capable of doing.
If you’re looking to buy or sell property in the Ocean City, Maryland area, turn to the Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn for your real estate legal needs. With nearly three decades of experience, our highly-qualified legal team can help you understand every step of your real estate process, protect your assets from future litigation, and streamline your path from start to finish, so you can feel confident and stress-free about your buying or selling experience. Contact us for more information.
Real Estate Law Basics
There are a lot of people involved in the sale of property: buyer, seller, realtor(s), loan officer, insurance agent, home inspector, and others still. One very important player in the process is the title attorney (also referred to as the closing attorney, real estate lawyer, or title insurance defense attorney).
In any transaction, the legitimacy of a piece of real estate’s legal title needs to be verified and validated. There also needs to be appropriate official documentation of the transaction in a sale or transfer. These steps protect both the buyer and seller from future lawsuits or property disputes.
A title attorney is a person who can help you iron out any complications in the property-transfer process to ensure that the title is legally sound, as well as answer any legal questions related to real estate. If you plan to mortgage your home or sell the property to a buyer who wants to ensure you’re the legitimate owner, title insurance is mandatory. Although title attorneys are not always mandatory, preventing legal issues in the future is of the utmost importance. Thus hiring a title attorney is one of the best things you can do when buying or selling property.
Title Attorneys vs. Title Agents
After deciding to purchase or sell a piece of real estate, buyers and sellers must often then make the decision of whether to hire a title attorney or a title agent. While the names are similar, these two types of professionals differ in what they have the capacity to do.
In many states, having a title attorney is mandated by law. However, in others you’re free to choose between a title attorney and a title agent. Individuals wondering which is the better option should understand the differences between the services offered by these two types of professionals.
The most important distinction between title attorneys and title agents is that only title attorneys are able to offer legal advice. Between contract signing and closing, a myriad of legal issues can arise between buyer or seller. Although the process is relatively simple on a base level, it doesn’t take much for complications to arise, whether through foreclosures, inspections, title history, survey, covenants, or any other number of convoluting factors. Although title agents are qualified to perform basic closing responsibilities, if a legal issue arises at any time during this process, the buyer or title agency itself must then hire a title attorney, costing more time, more money, and sometimes the closing itself.
In addition to being able to handle legal complications, title attorneys are able to edit, amend, and correct contracts, unlike title agents, as well as give legal advice and answer related questions. You want someone competent in their understanding of the legal system and local regulations to adeptly protect you and your interests.
Lastly, it’s important to mention that any title agents’ first allegiance is to insurers. Title attorneys, on the other hand, work directly for whoever hires them, meaning that they can provide more personalized service and benefits directly to the client.
Protect Yourself With An Experienced Legal Expert
Although title attorneys can do everything that title agents do, title attorneys are the only real estate professionals qualified to give legal advice, and with comparable fees, choosing which to hire is usually an easy decision to make. A title agent cannot substitute for an experienced title attorney.
For all your real estate law needs in Ocean City, Maryland and the surrounding area, turn to the Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn. With nearly 30 years of experience, we can help make your real estate transactions as smooth, worry-free, and legally sound as possible.
Contact us today for a consultation.