If you have ever bought or sold real estate, you probably went to a title company to close on the deal. But did you know there is an alternative to using a title company directly? 

You can close your real estate transaction with an attorney that is properly licensed to provide closing services and works in conjunction with a title company for the title insurance component of the real estate transaction.  This type of attorney is known as a “Fee Attorney.” 

The attorney serves as a title insurance agent for the title company.  The title company is actually an insurance agency, they sell title insurance for your property. But, like most insurance the title company reviews the state of title before agreeing to cover the title to the property.  This is a lot like the blood work a life insurance company might require before quoting you a price.  One of the interesting things to know is that in Texas, title insurance prices are fixed by statute. 

How fees compare

The price for the title insurance cannot be negotiated, so there is no cost difference as to title insurance from one company to the other, or even a Fee Attorneys.  There are other charges that are charged by the title company and Fee Attorney to be able to complete the transaction, like escrow fees and legal fees for preparing the legal documents (which only an attorney can prepare), are very comparable.  The cost difference is minimal to nonexistent for the most part. 

Interpreting legal issues is a plus

So how else can you decide which is better for your transaction? In a typical real estate transaction, a myriad of legal issues can result from the title search.  There may be easements, restrictive covenants, or liens on the property, just to name a few.  A title company cannot give you legal advice or interpret the enforce-ability of certain legal issues that affect title.  A Fee Attorney can give you an interpretation of the legal documents.  The ability to have this interpretation is an important factor whether you are selling of buying. 

Drafting legal documents

Additionally, the solution to some of these title issues involved drafting legal documents.  A Fee Attorney will be familiar with what documents need to be prepared to remedy the problem, reducing the need to hire additional attorneys. In some cases, there may be a need to prepare legal documents to clear some title issues. A Fee Attorney can be especially useful for a realtor, when there is a need for an addendum to a contract or to answer legal questions their client’s may have during the contract negotiations.  Having a relationship with a fee attorney can make the transaction run much more smoothly from beginning to end. A Fee Attorney can be a helpful alternative to using a regular title company and provide a higher quality of service and efficiency of the transaction.  When you are buying a home, perhaps one of the largest purchases you make, you can use a Fee Attorney can help you be sure this important transaction goes smoothly.  If you are seasoned real estate investor, using a Fee Attorney as your go to for closing can be highly effective and efficient. 

Handling your real estate transaction

When the Fee Attorney handling the real estate transaction if familiar with your business, you can rest assured that the transaction if evaluated with a global view of your investment strategy. As you can see using a Fee Attorney can be a better alternative to using a traditional title company.  The J.M. Dickerson Law Firm is a Fee Attorney in association with Texas Lone Star Title LLC, to provide you with your real estate closing needs. 

You can reach us by email at title@dickersonlaw.com for your real estate needs. We look forward to helping with your real estate closing soon.

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