Should I have an Attorney at my real estate closing?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question and it varies from State to State.

We always encourage our clients to have an attorney if they so choose, to review their information.  We are not attorneys, so can’t give legal advice.  In our experience, we’d say less than 1% of our clients have an attorney involved and less than that have an attorney represent them at close.  You certainly can, and should, if it’s something that would make you feel comfortable.  We’ve worked with a number of estate attorneys, but their involvement is more with facilitating title needs for the estate or trust.  They aren’t usually too involved at the actual closing.  Closing documents are pretty standard.

We’ve had a legal assistant client have her attorney look over a new construction purchase agreement.  We have had a number of attorney clients, but if they aren’t versed in real estate, their knowledge of real world real estate is usually limited and they tend to look to us for industry knowledge.  The feedback from those attorney reviews has also been limited.

In Wisconsin, it’s customary to refer the client to an attorney for review of Home Owner’s Association documents (including financial health of the association) and purchase agreements. Also, any questions you have regarding what contracts mean. So if you do have any concerns like that, please feel free to involve an attorney.  We also recommend attorney involvement if there is any kind of encroachment concerns, title concerns or if anything unusual arises.  We hope that helps.  It is truly up to you and your comfort level.

So when my clients ask, “Should I have an attorney at my real estate closing?”, just take into account the cost and how all lender documents are pretty standard in order to conform to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s expectations.

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