Depending on your state of residence, you may be required to have a lawyer involved when you buy a house. In the State of South Carolina, home buyers must hire a real estate lawyer. You are typically responsible for hiring the attorney, although your real estate agent may make suggestions. On average, a real estate attorney will charge $150 to $300 per hour. You can expect to pay $500 to $1500 total for their involvement in the transaction.
What does a real estate lawyer do?
Your Pawleys Island real estate attorney will prepare and review documents necessary for your real estate transaction. Paperwork like the purchase agreement, mortgage documents, title documents and transfer paperwork. You can expect the attorney to be at the closing, explain each document and answering any questions you have along the way.
The real estate lawyer ensures the transaction in completed legally and everything is binding. It's the attorney's responsibility to act in the best interest of their client. The attorney's team will prepare closing documents, complete title insurance policies, handle the title search and transfer of funds for the purchase. The attorney may also prepare paperwork for your lender if the purchase is financed.
The attorney will supervise the signing of all of the documents and will then have the documents delivered and recorded to your local government office. The purchase is complete when the documents have been recorded.
Real Estate Lawyer In South Carolina
As we mentioned above, South Carolina requires a lawyer to be involved in each step of your home purchase process. In addition to preparing the paperwork and overseeing the closing, an experienced Pawleys Island real estate attorney will be able to answer your questions and help if legal issues arise in your home purchase.
For example, what if your prospective new home has a home addition that wasn't built to code? The attorney can advise you on how to handle the situation with the seller and when the responsibility will fall on you to make necessary changes. You may want an explanation of terms or verbiage used in your mortgage documents that the attorney can explain in layman's terms.
Hiring A Pawleys Island Real Estate Attorney
While many real estate lawyers charge by the house, some offer a flat fee for services. As you search for the best lawyer for your needs, ask how billing is done so you know ahead of time. Keep in mind that even if the attorney has an hourly fee, you're hiring the firm, and can request a set number of hours to be used to complete the work. Ask for the agreement in writing so you're not allowing the firm to work under a “blank check” and determine their own fees at the end.
While hiring a real estate attorney in Pawleys Island is an added cost to the home buying process, the protection that the lawyer offers as you make the purchase is tremendous. Research lawyers in your area to ensure you're making the best hire.