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Seller Refuses to Hire Attorney and Won’t Pull Title

Seller Refuses to HireFrustrated Attorney and Won’t Pull Title.  Recently, I had a client that entered into a real estate contract.  The contract called for the seller to pull title and draft a deed.  When I called the seller and asked who the attorney way, the seller simply said “we are not hiring an attorney, we have a title company and you are paying for title and drawing up all of the documents”.  Now here is the real kicker, the seller had received $5000.00 already from the buyer.   What should the buyer do?  1)  Hire Legal Counsel  2)  Declare the contract in default 3)  Demand return of the earnest money 4)  Look for another property to buy.

Alternative Answer:  What is the buyer really wants the property and the is simply a difficult person, what can the buyer’s attorney do at this point?  In Illinois, the seller is required to purchase title insurance when conveying title to the buyer.  Only Attorneys licensed to practice in Illinois can draft deeds.  Under these circumstances, the buyer could hire legal counsel and ask him to also pull title and do all of the activities of the seller’s attorney.  A waiver should be signed by the buyer and the seller stating that an inherent conflict of interest exists and that the seller is unrepresented by the attorney and is only drafting documents for the sole benefit of the buyer.  Also, the buyer’s attorneys selects the title company and not only earns title fees but is responsible for hiring the escrow company that distributes proceeds to the seller.

In conclusion, a real estate transaction is always best when attorneys are present on both the seller and buyer sides of the transaction.  In Illinois, the seller always selects the title company, pulls title and drafts the deeds.  The buyer is responsible for purchasing title coverage for his lender only and is by contract usually responsible for the entire escrow closing fee.  It is unclear whether it is a flagrant violation of the law to have the buyer pull title and draft the deed.  But it appears that will full disclosure and consent from all parties this is allowed.

Do you need legal counsel for your next real estate closing?  If yes, please contact us today for a consultation:

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