Buyer and Seller Using the Same Closing Attorney

Should a buyer use the same closing attorney as the seller? Why or Why not?

1 Answer

In my opinion, this is something to avoid doing.  The attraction is that you may save money by having lower costs.  The downside is bigger.  What happens if there is a dispute down the road?  Will the attorney represent your interests?  Or those of the seller?  Having your own representation is ALWAYS worth the extra money.  And it will not be a huge difference, either.

Typically, an attorney will search the title or pay an abstractor to do it.  Any liens, whether they be mortgages, judgments, municipal or tax liens will be uncovered and satisfied at closing to give you clear and marketable title. 

Title insurance is also available to you as an owner. This would cover you in the event of problems that could arise by misfilings of deeds, liens, permits, etc., possible forged instruments in the chain of title or some other item not normally uncovered in a title search.  Just because the title was fine when the seller purchased does not mean that there were no problems in the records then.  And if you are using the sellers attorney, you cannot be sure that only an update of title was performed.  Lending requirements have changed over the years.  Things that are issues now may not have been at the time the seller bought the home.

Some may disagree with this position, but arms length for all parties in a transaction is never a bad idea.