While the inspection is occurring and we’re negotiating inspection repairs, your attorney will review the contract and create a list of changes he/she wants made to the contract.  Attorneys always ask for changes. Usually they are not asking to change anything we wrote into the contract. Rather they are adding additional language to protect you and specifying certain things they want such as closing taking place at a Title company close to your home or their office, etc.  The attorneys will negotiate any contract changes back and forth until an agreement can be reached.  

If you live in a condo building the attorney will also request the condo documents from your building’s property manager or HOA president.  Don’t be surprised if you have to pay a fee for these documents. In mid to high rise buildings the fees can range from $100 – $300. In addition, the attorney will need to request a Paid Assessment Letter (PAL) from your building showing you are current on all HOA fees/special assessments.  Again, there may be a fee you have to pay before your building will release this letter. If so, you have to pay the fee as we need that letter to be able to close.

In addition, before closing the attorney often will:

  • Assist with the negotiation of any inspection issues
  • Help you further understand the contract and makes sure your interests are protected
  • Make sure the title is clear
  • File extension requests (attorney review, etc.) as needed
  • Work with the buyer’s lender to ensure a timely loan commitment
  • Closely review the settlement statement (HUD) including any taxes owed, adjustments, closing cost credits, etc. prior to closing
  • Prepare all legal documents
  • Order the water certificate
  • Schedule the closing

The above list is IF everything goes perfectly. If it doesn’t and the contract needs to be cancelled, earnest money needs to be refunded, etc. the attorney will handle these items as well.  This is why it’s crucial to have a good Real Estate attorney as part of your team.

Hopefully you’ve already picked an attorney. If you haven’t, my recommendation is to email the attorneys on my website to see what their fee currently is, see who responds quickest and which one you like the most.  Once you’ve picked an attorney, please let us know.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.