Monday, June 24, 2024

    8 Things You Need to Know About Charleston Real Estate Attorneys

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    If you are buying a home in Charleston, South Carolina, you can choose to hire a real estate attorney. Investing in a real estate attorney in Charleston helps coordinate the closing process and negotiations with the real estate agent, the other party involved in the sale and the bank if applicable.

    ⦁ They Have Local Knowledge of South Carolina Laws

    In South Carolina, a lawyer is required for the closing process, whether the home you’re buying is ‌in Folly Beach or historic Downtown Charleston. The South Carolina Supreme Court mandates the use of a lawyer for the home closing process, including the title search, loan documentation, document recording and the release of monies.

    Your lawyer can serve as your legal representative in every part of the transaction.

    ⦁ They Ensure All Disclosures and Terms Are in the Real Estate Agreement

    A real estate purchase agreement outlines all the details of the transaction. This agreement must include an offer to sell or buy, an acceptance of the offer, a price for sale and a sufficient description of the property. Working with a real estate attorney can help prevent potential issues when reviewing the contract.

    You can include various contingencies in your real estate purchase agreement. A real estate attorney can negotiate these contingencies with the seller, such as inspections, financing and appraisals.

    They ensure your contract includes disclosures of any issues with the property according to South Carolina laws. These disclosures include:

    • Lead-based paint disclosure: If the property was built before 1978, the seller must disclose this to the buyer along with other information regarding lead-based paint in the property.
    • Residential property condition disclosure statement: Buyers must receive this condition report before signing any residential real estate agreement. In this document, the seller describes the property’s current physical condition. Upon signing this statement, the real estate agreement is considered legally binding.
    • Coastal tidelands and wetlands: Sellers may disclose whether the property being sold is entirely or partially seaward of the setback line. They can also disclose the local erosion rate. However, these are only regulatory rules that have no bearing on the agreement’s legality.

    ⦁ They Can Research Title Issues

    As part of the closing process, purchasing a home in South Carolina requires a title search by a lawyer. The lawyer reviews public records and other sources for any liens, encumbrances and easements, such as a house for sale in Mount Pleasant, SC that may have public access by a utility company. The title search can also uncover open court cases, code violations and third-party claims on the property, such as unpaid taxes against current and previous owners.

    With the help of your lawyer, you can insist that the seller fix any issues before closing the home. An attorney can ensure future sales are unaffected by certifying the liens have been paid off and erased from public records.

    ⦁ They Can Help You Navigate Title Insurance

    Once a clear title has been established, the lawyer has given a title opinion attesting to the validity of the title. They can then help you obtain title insurance to protect against previously discovered issues during the title search.

    Getting insurance protects you from issues such as another person claiming ownership of the property, liens, forgery and other items in the insurance policy. If these issues arise and are covered in your title insurance policy, your real estate attorney can help you file your claim. They can work with the insurer to remove them and clear the title.

    ⦁ Real Estate Attorneys Remain Impartial

    According to the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code, the buyer usually selects the closing attorney. This guarantees that the attorney can give a clear title to the property. Real estate agents must respect the buyer’s choice of real estate attorney.

    As a neutral third party, the lawyer does not represent the buyer or seller during the home’s closing process if there is a disagreement.

    ⦁ Real Estate Attorneys Require Open Communication

    Your lawyer will require a lot of documentation and personal information from you during the closing process. Give your attorney your complete contact information, including your legal name, when you first meet them for a consultation.

    Make sure to promptly respond to your lawyer’s phone calls, emails and text messages. When you have open communication with your attorney, you help ensure the closing process goes smoothly so that you can move into your dream home on time.

    ⦁ They Can Help Understand Financing

    To obtain financing, you must fulfill several requirements and provide documentation to your lender. These documents include personal information, income verification, asset and debt documents and credit verification. Even when a lender approves a mortgage, the buyer must meet specific requirements, such as signing a promissory note to pay back the loan before closing.

    You may need the help of a real estate attorney to understand the lender’s expectations and ensure you meet the loan terms within the lender’s deadlines. Having your lawyer assist you with the financing can guarantee that your lender’s mortgage approval and money proceed smoothly during the closing process.

    ⦁ You Can Choose to be Present for the Closing of Your New Home

    You may meet with your lawyer to sign the closing documents in person at closing. You can choose to sign them remotely if the lawyer sends them by mail or email, but you should still attend in person if possible because the documents require original signatures.

    However, signing the closing documents does not mean you have ownership yet. Your lawyer must transfer the money to the seller’s lawyer for closing after you’ve received approval. Then you can take ownership of your new house.

    Choosing a Real Estate Lawyer in South Carolina

    With the guidance of a Charleston real estate lawyer, a new home purchase can be an exciting life event. Their local legal knowledge helps ensure a smooth closing process so you can settle into your new home at the expected time. Additionally, a lawyer can give you the peace of mind that ‌you’re making the right decisions as you move forward with your purchase.

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