Every state has different rules about real estate and how the transfer of property takes place. Robert has over 35 years experience and is my personal attorney on real estate, wills and some estate planning. I sat down with Robert Whitney, one of the attorneys who closes property in Oconee county, to ask him the questions I am ask during each transaction.
1) Why do real estate closings in South Carolina take place at an Attorney's office? They closings don't have to take place at my office but it is less expensive--the buyer and seller are not paying me to travel to closing. The convenience of doing it in my office is less expensive, more secure and private. The attorney's office is a controlled environment, not open to anyone walking by as you would have in a coffee shop or real estate office.
2) What does an attorney do at closing? make sure forms are properly prepared and signed. He is available for any questions, to be a witness or notary.
3) Why do I have to do a title search? Title searches determine outstanding problems, ownership defects, liens. Attorneys look at the paper chain to make sure you are buying what you think you are buying and that you get 100% ownership.
4) If you do title search, why do I need title insurance? Title insurance protects buyers and lenders from hidden defects in the property.
5) How often do I have to buy title insurance? When you buy or refinance a property.
6) What advice would you give a new buyer? Take pictures of survey markers...look at each one on the plat. Keep insurance. Pay taxes. Have someone look at the property if you are not a resident to make sure nothing has changed, no one is using your property and finally, have a will or co-owner to take over if something happens to you as an owner.
7) What way can I take title to the real estate? Tenancy in common, Joint Tenants with right of survivorship, life estates and remainder interest.
8) Anything extra that a new buyer needs to do on improved property?
9) Any final advise for buyers of real estate?
10) Any final advise for sellers of real estate?
Robert Whitney is in his 40th year of practicing law. He can be reached at 864-882-1414. Sandy Lee is his paralegal and usually answers the phone. Robert is my personal attorney so I am very biased in how great he is.