Selling a home is one of the most significant transactions people will go through in their entire lives. The closing is the last step. As the final impression to be left with the seller, why not make sure it is a good one?
There is a new trend in closings – seller side only representation by a skilled attorney who knows the ins and outs of real estate transactions. And who could be better to be this attorney than one who is affiliated with a settlement company; one with skills acquired by facilitating closing transactions for both parties? Given that closing counsel does not cost the seller any additional money, using seller side only counsel is an excellent way to make sure that everything goes smoothly and gets done right.
In real estate transactions, the buyer has the legal right to select the company that issues the title insurance – the settlement company. In fact, the seller is specifically barred from selecting an alternative. As a result, both parties will often use whoever the buyer selects, and the selection is usually someone who the buyer’s agent knows. While an attorney generally participates in the closing process, that attorney is explicitly not representing either party, and cannot advocate or advise if any issue arises.
This traditional arrangement is not necessarily a recipe for disaster, but it is no guarantee that the process will be handled to the benefit of the seller. There are multiple steps to get to closing, and a small mistake or problem can prolong the process, adding stress to an already challenging experience. While the seller’s agent has made every effort to show the house to at its best, and to make the pre-contract phase easy on the seller, once the offer is ratified, the transaction moves into the hands of the buyer’s agents, lenders, and other individuals who make up the complex process of a closing.
A seller side only counsel acts as a key advocate for the seller, facilitating the process and making the closing aspects that impact the seller happen on the seller’s terms. When selecting seller-side only counsel, the seller establishes an attorney-client relationship with the seller, so there is no question that their interests are represented in the closing process.
Generally selected at the recommendation of the seller’s real estate agent, the seller side counsel should be a trusted colleague, selected because of his or her expertise in the local real estate market, dedication to client service, and ability to deliver a pleasant closing experience for the seller. With expertise, the seller side counsel will know local customs, correct fees, when taxes are due and other details that are critical to an accurate and mistake-free closing.
The seller side only counsel can review the many documents to be signed at closing to be certain that they are accurate. With so much happening, it is not surprising that mistakes occasionally happen. The seller side counsel acts as a shield for the seller, making sure that problems are spotted and fixed as soon as possible. This extra set of experienced eyes can spell the difference in a smooth or bumpy closing. Furthermore, by splitting the buyer and seller sides of the transactions, the seller can schedule the closing at their counsel’s location at a convenient time.
The best part of this dedicated service is the cost. When doing a seller side only closing through Cobalt, there is no additional fee for having the seller’s last memory of the transaction be in the hands of a trusted colleague who has watched out for the interests of the seller throughout the process.
Want to use Cobalt for a seller side only transaction? Contact us today to learn more about how we can be there for you.