Real Estate Closings

Real estate attorneys in Connecticut: What do they do and do I need one?

A quick rundown of how an attorney will help you in your closing

Attorney writes on document at desk

Published on

August 25, 2022

In this article:

When it comes to buying, selling, or refinancing, there are many complex situations when it helps to have an experienced legal professional overseeing the process and ensuring no costly missteps are made. In Connecticut, the state recognizes this by requiring that all home buyers and sellers involve a real estate attorney in the transaction.  

With other professionals like a real estate agent and loan officers already in the fold, you may be wondering what role an attorney plays in your transaction and how they can help.  

Here’s a quick rundown of how a real estate attorney can help you and why you need one.  

Am I required to hire an attorney for my closing in Connecticut?  

Connecticut state law requires that real estate closing be conducted by a licensed attorney.  

The requirement was put into place to protect both the buyer and seller from litigation by making sure all laws are followed. It also ensures that all the paperwork involved will satisfy requirements set by law.  

What does a real estate attorney do?  

In general, real estate attorneys review and prepare legal and tax documents, do and oversee the necessary due diligence work, and coordinate with the realtor and other parties to ensure deadlines in the contract are met. An experienced attorney can also anticipate common issues in a transaction and resolve any conflicts that may arise.

Attorneys generally aren’t involved in negotiating the terms or price of a transaction (that’s the realtor’s purview), but attorneys do step in once an agreement is reached to review it and oversee the transaction through closing.  

The bottom line is, an attorney will help move your closing along faster, protect your interests, and make sure that no costly errors are made. It’s not uncommon for deals to fall through or litigation to occur as a result of issues with the title, disclosures, or contract terms. For your peace of mind, make sure you hire an attorney you trust to stay on top of your transaction and keep you in loop throughout.

What does a real estate attorney do if I’m purchasing a home?  

In a purchase, your attorney will:  

  • Prepare all necessary legal documents in accordance with state law
  • Review all legal documents and clearly explaining them to the client to ensure they know their rights and liabilities  
  • Oversee the title search and ensure there are no existing liens or mortgages – achieving a “clear title”
  • Monitoring the conditions of the buyer’s commitment letter from the lender to ensure mortgage processing  
  • Work with the buyer’s realtor, mortgage lender and the seller’s attorney to make sure all the deadlines in the contract are being met    
  • Attend the closing with the client to review all paperwork and answer any questions  

What does a real estate attorney do if I’m selling a home?  

While representing the seller, an attorney will:  

  • Prepare and reviewing all legal documents  
  • Ensuring the sales agreement is fair and in the seller’s best interest  
  • Anticipating and resolving any issues or disputes that may arise  
  • Preparing closing docs for seller to sign at closing based on the title search received from the buyer’s attorney  
  • Identifying and resolving any issues related to the title
  • Ordering payoffs for any mortgages, judgment liens and outstanding water and sewer balances
  • Calculating any tax and utility adjustments  

What does a real estate attorney do if I’m refinancing a mortgage?  

During a refinancing, your attorney will:  

  • Order and review a title search and provide it to lender
  • Work with the lender to prepare closing documents
  • Ensure current loan is properly and completely discharged from the client’s record after it is paid off
  • Oversee the signing of the loan documents and the recording of the new mortgage on  land records
  • Oversee the handling of all funds from the new mortgage (including paying off the existing mortgage and any other liens) and issuing the policy of title insurance required by the new lender

Reach out to a Greenwich, CT Real Estate Attorney  

As you can see, real estate attorneys perform an extensive amount of due diligence to ensure their client's interests are protected and that they can proceed with confidence. Much of this work is subtle and complex, so  make sure you hire an attorney that will be able to effectively explain and communicate these details.

At Pederson Real Estate Law, Attorney Charlene Pederson personally works on each of her clients’ cases, not passing off the work to a paralegal or junior attorney. Reach out to Pederson Law Estate Law today for a free consultation.

About the author
Pederson Real Estate Law logo

Pederson Real Estate Law

Pederson Real Estate Law is a boutique law firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. We provide experienced, efficient legal services for clients in residential real estate closings —purchases, sales, and refinances.

Latest Blog Posts