Florida Closing Attorney & Bar Board Certified - (561) 392-5200
Florida Closing Attorney Offering Legal Advice at Title Company Rates Since 1978

Florida Real Estate Myths and Grant's Commentaries

Florida Real Estate Myths


Myth #1   A Florida real estate attorney is more expensive than a title company.

Wrong!  The promulgated rate for the title insurance premium is the same everywhere in Florida. The closing fee for conducting the closing is usually less than $100 difference between a title company and our office.  We examine title “in house” which saves you money.  We do not markup our abstracting costs, while most title companies charge $250 and up for their outsourced title work.  Since our overhead costs are shared by all of our departments including our closing, probate, wills, trusts and real estate law departments, we pass on  those savings to our clients.  Thus, in  most cases our total charges are less than those charged by a title company with the added benefit of the protection only an attorney can provide.  Don’t believe it? Contact our office for a free written quote.  We quote all fees and expenses, in writing, and stick to it. Guaranteed!


Myth #2   An attorney charges an attorney fee in addition to the title charges.

When our office handles the title insurance side of a routine real estate transaction, we never charge an additional attorney fee.  Granted, some transactions are not routine and require additional services that only an attorney can perform.  For example, sometimes the title has to be cleared through probate; or perhaps a tenant has to be evicted before you can close.  Maybe there are complicated short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy issues.  In those special cases, you might have an additional attorney’s fee, but only after the fee has been quoted to you or your agent, in writing.  We quote all fees and expenses, in writing, and stick to it. Guaranteed!


Myth #3   Florida, you don't need an attorney for a real estate closing.  The title company handles everything.

A title company is prohibited by law from giving you legal advice, so if your counter party is trying to get out of the contract, or you don’t know how to take title, or you don’t know the income tax or estate tax consequences of your transaction, or a title problem is discovered, the title company can’t help you.  You will need an attorney, and that will cost you extra if you start with a title company.  Why not have a Florida real estate law specialist handle the whole transaction from the beginning?  You’ll probably save money in the long run (see myth 1 and 2 above) and you’ll get the legal advice and protection a title company cannot, by law, give you. And remember, we quote all fees and expenses, in writing, and stick to it. Guaranteed!


Myth #4   My mortgage company told me I have to use their attorney or title company.

Dead wrong!  In fact, under Federal Regulations mandated by Congress under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, you have an absolute right to select your own settlement agent.  Do you think the bank’s attorney or title company is going to be protecting you or THEIR client?  Don’t you think it’s possible you might be paying higher title charges fees when there is no one to quote you a competitive rate?  Don’t you think it’s possible you might not be getting the best service when the bank’s attorney or title company doesn’t have to compete for your business?  Congress thought so, too; which is why you have the absolute right to select your own settlement agent. Call us for a free analysis of your particular situation.  And remember, we quote all fees and expenses, in writing, and stick to it. Guaranteed!


Myth #5   Every Florida title company is either owned or operated by an attorney.

Surprise! There is no law or requirement that a Florida title company must be owned or operated by an attorney. Some Florida title companies are owned and operated by a Florida licensed title insurance agent, and that person does not need to be an attorney. The education requirements to become a Florida licensed title insurance agent can be satisfied by attending a 40 hour classroom course in title insurance. Our office is owned and operated by a Florida Bar board certified real estate attorney with 32 years of “on the job experience,” placing the interests of the client first. Title company services, specialized real estate law advice and unquestioned loyalty to only you for the same or less cost than a title company. And remember, we quote all fees and expenses, in writing, and stick to it. Guaranteed!


Myth #6   A title company that is owned or operated by an attorney or has an attorney on the payroll provides me with the best of both worlds, title company services with the attorney making sure I’m protected.

If both the buyer and seller believe this, at least one of them is wrong! More likely, both are wrong. A title company represents the title underwriter, not the buyer or seller. The attorney-owner or attorney on the payroll works for the title company, not the seller or buyer. If the attorney assures one side that one side is represented, then by operating as a title company the attorney is deceiving the other side by allowing that other side to believe the title company is an unbiased neutral escrow agent. At our office, we represent one party, never both, and make no bones about it. Our clients are provided the best of both worlds, title company services at title company prices with the added protection of their own attorney, without deceiving the other side. And remember, we quote all fees and expenses, in writing, and stick to it. Guaranteed!

Grant's Commentaries


BROKER BEWARE!   PERSONAL PROPERTY, REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS AND SALES TAX  
Is sales tax due when personal property is separately broken out on a real estate contract?
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 3/24/2014

From time to time we see some real estate purchasers, and an occasional real estate seller, manipulate the real estate contract and artificially allocate a portion of the sales/purchase price to furniture or other personal property. In the shadows of this contract manipulation lurks the government and criminal liabilty for the seller, purhcaser and real estate broker.

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CONDO ASSOCIATION BEATS BANK IN RACE FOR TITLE  
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 2/24/2014

It's rare that a bank's mortgage is wiped out by a condominium association.  Condominium Association of La Mer Estates, Inc. v. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation[1] decided by Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeals on February 19, 2014 proves that with the right facts, a little timing and the right court, winning the lottery is possible.
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TAX DEED PURCHASER BEATS HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION LIENS 
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 1/10/2014

Some say you can't beat the HOA unless you are the bank. Lunohah Investments decided by Florida's Fifth District Court of Appeals on December 27, 2013, demonstrates that along with certain mortgage lenders there's a new protected player in town.
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TRUSTS AND FLORIDA HOMESTEAD: NOT WHAT THEY APPEAR TO BE!
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 2/28/2012

Revocable living trusts are popular in Florida, suggested by many practitioners as the preferred way to a) avoid probate (it doesn’t always work...more on that in a future commentary), b) protect against creditors (also doesn’t work), and c) eliminate postmortem litigation between beneficiaries (didn’t work in this case!). 
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FLORIDA'S NEW POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 11/03/2011

Effective October 1, 2011, the Florida legislature created the Florida Power of Attorney Act which established requirements for creating powers of attorney. Unless the new requirements are met, a power of attorney will be useless. Master these concepts and you will have a good handle on the new Act.
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FRAUD ALERT: FOREIGN CASH BUYER
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 02/14/2010

Fraudulent “buyers” are out there, wasting the time of real estate agents and sellers, fishing for the opportunity to rip-off the real estate agent or title company escrow account.
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2010 FAR/BAR: ARE YOU READY?
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 9/28/2010

The 2010 version of the FAR/BAR contract has made its debut. A number of changes from previous FAR/BAR versions are noted, and there are some important points to keep in mind when drafting or responding to an offer involving this form, including:
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Refinancing: Whom Can You Trust?
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 9/18/2010

A great article appeared in this weekend's edition of The Wall Street Journal that concludes...
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BOCA RATON HOME PRICE INDEX DROPS 1.28% FOR APRIL
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 5/03/2010

Home prices in Boca Raton as measured by my Boca Raton Home Price Index dropped 46 points to 3535.50 from the March figure of 3581.50, a 1.28% decline for the month; and is off 43.8% from its peak of 6232.49 reached in April of 2006.
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New RESPA Amendments Affect Consumers and Real Estate Agents
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 1/10/2010

Since January 1, 2010, the public and real estate professionals have experienced significant changes...
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Tenants and Foreclosure
By Grant W. Kehres | Posted 11/1/2009

What happens to a tenant when a lender, condo association or HOA forecloses their mortgage or lien? Before Congress recently stepped in, the tenant would be subject to immediate eviction.
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