Law firm drafting a sale contract acting as the escrow agent

4 Replies

I am making an offer on a property in Florida.  The home is being sold by the owner, the owner/seller retained a law firm to write the offer.  I am more used to working through a realtor.  A few queries:

- What's the best service to have the offer reviewed?

- The seller/owner's counsel (who wrote the offer contract) is also their designated escrow agent.  Is this a conflict of interest?

- I am making a cash offer.  I do not know if the owner/seller has any balance to repay to a bank.  Should I be looking closer into their situation?

- Any other scenarios I should be concerned about as far as the title search, etc.?

Thank you.

Yuri

I should add that there are no realtors involved - everything is being handled by a law firm hired by the seller.

If they have an attorney advising them then you need one on your side. Get  FL lawyer that specializes in Real estate. 

Agreed, have your own attorney review.  Some things you definitely Have to have: General Warranty Deed, clear title evidenced by a Title Search and Title Insurance (review the "B" section exclusions).  Doc stamps (0.7%, transfer tax) are paid by the seller, and in most counties the title insurance is usually paid by seller (check local custom, but it's negotiable).

@Yuri Chernousko not too long ago I closed a sale where the buyer used an attorney and it was a pain. In our case, the buyers agent drafted the contract. I would suggest an attorney on your side as well. 

The seller's attorney can be the escrow agent. They still must follow state law with regard to handling escrow. 

As long as the seller can deliver clear title at closing the balance of their mortgage doesn't matter. If it is a short sale situation then you should know this upfront. Have your lawyer review the title insurance binder to make sure there are no unusual exceptions to the policy. 

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