We were recently asked this question: I am buying a house for the first time, and the real estate agent has mentioned three times at least that I ought to use “his guy” to do the settlement. His lawyer comes to his office and does the settlements there. Is that normal, or should I get an attorney that isn’t friendly with the real estate listing agent?
I am buying my first house. The real estate agent is pushing me to use his lawyer. Is that normal?
Yes and yes. Yes, it is normal for the real estate agent to give you names of lawyers who can conduct your Delaware real estate settlement. No it is not normal for them to give you only one name and to push you to use “their guy”. You might want to get a consultation with another lawyer who is not connected to this real estate listing agent. Here’s why:
The interest of the listing agent is best served by a lawyer who will quickly bring the transaction to a settlement so that the real estate agent gets his fee check. Your interests are best served by a lawyer who will thoroughly review all the deeds, mortgages, judgments, and other documents in the chain of title going back at least seventy years. The real value in having a lawyer conduct your real estate settlement is that the lawyer reviews the chain of title to make sure that the seller is selling you 100% ownership of the property. If the lawyer finds any defects in the chain, he can take action to remedy them before you go to settlement and pay a ton of money for a piece of land that may not be yours. So you should not be forced to use the real estate agent’s lawyer – you should consult with a lawyer of your own choice, and you should hire a lawyer that makes you feel comfortable, for your real estate settlement.