The question often arises as to who is involved in the consummation of a real estate transfer.
First, there is a realtor who is usually the person who lists the property for sale or who assists in the locating of a suitable property. Realtors are the main point of contact for listings and the first contact for negotiations. It is customary that the buyer and the seller enlist a realtor of their choice as it is not necessary that the buyers contact the actual listing agent of the property in order to facilitate a sale. Mechanisms are in place for the realtors to share the commission (which is usually paid by the seller).
As a trusted professional and agent of their respective party, Realtors oftentimes prepare the documents needed for making of an offer. However, realtors are not able to advise on and make significant modifications to the standard contracts approved by the Board of Realtors and the Florida Bar without the involvement of an attorney.
Next, a title company or an attorney is usually engaged to check the chain of title, prepare specific closing documents (such as a deed) and to provide title insurance for the benefit of the purchaser. If there are significant issues with the title that need to be resolved, title companies oftentimes have to engage the services of an attorney to resolve such issues (i.e. through a quiet title action).
Lastly, an attorney can be brought into the transaction by either party as their advocate in the transaction to represent their interests during contract negotiations (by reviewing contracts in coordination with the realtor) or to review title work to make sure that exceptions drafted by the title company are narrowly focused.
This Article is intended for general information and is not intended to provide legal advice.