Do I need an attorney to buy a house in Massachusetts?

If you are taking a mortgage to buy a home, the lender will retain an attorney to handle the closing, conduct a title exam, and write the title insurance policies. If you are buying the home in cash, you likely need an attorney to serve in the same capacities.


How much does a real estate attorney cost?

A real estate closing attorney generally charges a flat fee between $500 and $1200 to handle the closing on the lender’s behalf. Some attorneys charge an additional fee to review the Purchase and Sale agreement. Please ask us today for a fee quote via email at or call/text at 781-664-4936.

What are the right questions to ask a real estate attorney?

How many real estate closings do you handle per month? Do you practice other areas of the law? Do you provide your cell phone number in case there is a non-business hour question? Can you handle closings for the lender I am using? Where will my closing be if you handle it?

Who pays for the bank attorney?

Typically, the buyer will pay for the lender’s attorney fee. This is generally a condition of the bank agreeing to give you the mortgage.

Do I need my own attorney if the bank has one?

Not necessarily. Dual Representation, such that our firm can represent both you and your lender in handling the closing, is both legal and commonplace in Massachusetts for Real Estate Lawyers and Closing Attorneys to offer. It provides savings to Buyers by avoiding duplication of services and permitting efficiencies. The cost for separate representation may add several hundred dollars to the overall cost of a closing. In all but the rarest of instances, the interests of the lender and the purchaser are so similar that there is no conflict of interest.

Read more: Approved Mortgage Lending Partners | Timothy A. Sherman

How long does the closing take for a house in, say Canton?

The real estate closing usually takes an hour. It will take another hour for the paperwork to be electronically recorded at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds before you can take possession of the property.

Do I need to be at the closing?

You may be able to provide someone with a Power of Attorney to sign on your behalf at a closing such that you do not have to attend. This is not recommended, as it adds a few hundred dollars to the process, can cause delays with the mortgage lenders, and adds another layer to the process. But with all that said, it certainly is an option that we can walk you through in more detail.

Where will my closing be?

This depends a bit on where the property is located. If you are buying a home in the towns close to Braintree such as Boston, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Weymouth and Stoughton, your closing will likely be held at our office. If the property is located on the South Shore in a town such as Hingham, Scituate or Duxbury, your closing will likely be at your real estate agent’s office or perhaps the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds. This also holds true if your home is on Cape Cod, in the Southcoast or in Metrowest or along 95/495.

What does a real estate attorney do?

1. A review of the Purchase and Sale Agreement to make sure your interests are protected.
2. A title exam of the property to ensure there are no liens, mortgages or title defects, etc.
3. Handling the disbursement of the funds to ensure that all liens are paid off and officially discharged.
4. Filing the paperwork at the Registry of Deeds to establish your ownership of the property
5. Issuing the required lender’s title insurance policy and optional owner’s title insurance policy.
6. Finally, it includes handling the closing for the lender.

Are real estate attorney reviews important?

We feel reviews of real estate attorneys are very important, both in quantity and quality. Our firm is proud of our reviews.

Is an Offer to Purchase a legally binding contract?

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided in 1999 that an Offer to Purchase Real Estate CAN be a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT. We recommend you have an attorney review your Offer to Purchase BEFORE you sign it. If you have already signed it, we feel you should immediately reach out to a Massachusetts real estate attorney to ensure you are protected as much as possible and to learn how the inspection and contingency periods operate.
Read more: Offer to Purchase | Timothy A. Sherman

Should I just use the attorney my mortgage person and/or real estate agent recommended?

Very often, your mortgage professional and/or real estate agent is going to recommend a very good real estate attorney they know from personal experience. We recommend you take a few minutes to contact both the attorney(s) that was referred as well as an additional attorney or two. Interview your potential attorneys. Can you easily get a hold of them? Do they offer an informative website? Do they have professional office staff supporting them? Do they have multiple attorneys in the firm to be able to assist in case one attorney is on vacation and their back-up is busy or gets sick.

Buying a Home

Pin It on Pinterest