Home Buyer and Seller Use Same Attorney

Should the seller and buyer use the same attorney on the sale of a house?

2 Answers

Using the same attorney or Title Company settlement agent can truly make for a smoother closing in a single location, but it isn't mandatory.

The borrower, by law, cannot be forced by anyone to use a certain Title Company. Most borrowers will entrust their loan originator to handle their choice, but that also is not mandatory.

Sometimes the parties will get a good deal, because it is much easier for the agent to coordinate the paperwork and split the cost. But it is possible that a Realtor or someone else may get some kind of "kickback" or bonus for using a certain agent or company and that would result in an unnecessary increased cost to you, so you should always check out the estimates for this service.

If you can find the same service at a cheaper price, you should mention it if that is your desire. You may not know it, but the choice is really yours.

This is not a good idea, unless it is a family sale.  If there is ever a conflict in the future, the attorney will not be able to advise either party.  So, someone new will have to step into the picture.  This will be much more costly than getting one's own representation at the outset.

Sometimes, an attorney will represent the interests of the lender if acting as a settlement agent.  Again, there can be a risk to a buyer who does not pay for his or her own representation.  It is the single largest financial investment that a homebuyer will make.  Why not do it the right way?  If it costs $200 or $300 more than it otherwise might, it is money well spent.

Don't do it.