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Our Methodology: Getting the Deal Done While Being Scrupulous

If you’re selling, you have plans for where you’re moving next, and what you’ll be doing with your proceeds from your sale. If you’re buying, you’re excited to be moving (goodbye, Landlord!), finally getting that master bathroom (hallelujah!), or making the work commute easier. In other words, you have a lot on your mind, and a lot to be excited about.

Problems and delays are not one of the things you’re excited about.

You need an attorney that has knowledge of the intricacies of real estate conveyancing, which involves local, state, and federal law. It’s an area that is one of the oldest areas of law (dating back to medieval period in England, still with us today in concepts like “fee simple” and “servitudes”) and is also highly regulated (such as the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures and requirements).

As an approved attorney with CATIC and Chicago Title Insurance Company, I receive regular updates directly from the leading title insurance companies in the area. I’m also on a first-name basis with the underwriters at each company, who are some of the most seasoned and experienced in the industry. I’m also a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association Title Standards and Practices Committee (and chair of the Legislative Subcommittee) as well as the Massachusetts Real Estate Bar Association (REBA), all of which allow me to stay current on the very latest case law, statutes, and regulations.

However, technical knowledge and precision isn’t all that’s involved. Any attorney can derail the deal—that is easy. The hard part is “threading the needle” and finding a path through the maze that lets you effectively achieve your goals. [Disclaimer: in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, licenses to practice law do not have any recognized subcategories, so terms such as “real estate attorney” reflects the practice area and experience of the attorney, not formal licensing requirements].

Being Scrupulous

But, alas, not everything can be controlled. Problems do arise, and sometimes serious title problems are found. That is, after all, the point of checking the title before you buy, isn’t it?

Where the “get the deal done” attitude gets everyone into trouble is when it slides into just “churning,” with matters going at warp speed in one door and out the other. Did the mortgage get discharged? Was the previous owner’s life estate properly released? Was the prior foreclosure on the property done correctly? Oh, you got to closing very fast, but a year later when you get a knock on the door, or a few years later when you go to sell, is there going to be a surprise?

The antidote to “churning” is simple: being scrupulous. The recipe for it is the same recipe you know from elsewhere: review everything carefully, double check documents, communicate details effectively, and follow up to make sure everything was done properly.

Peace of Mind: Insurance and Accountability

So you can’t wait to get into your dream house, but you’re worried about uncovering a nasty surprise with the title years later . . . what’s a person to do? Should you not buy? Should you lose lots of sleep?

Nope, the answer is quite simple.

We’re scrupulous.

  • We always conduct a thorough and independent review of your title.

Offer Owner’s Title Insurance

  • This one-time payment at closing provides an insurance policy that the title to your new home is good, clear, and marketable. If something goes wrong, the insurance company will step and cover it.

We’re accountable to you.

  • If you have a question, you can call me. Even if it’s long after closing, you can still call and we will look into it. Our clients often tell us that our responsiveness and accountability helps give them peace of mind.

But how much will it cost?

  • I’m a firm believer that success comes from many happy clients, not from price gouging. The title insurance rates I charge are all set by the underwriting company directly, and are standard across each state. My fees for title and settlement are competitive with what we’re seeing from a range of other firms in our area. However, the raw price of the services is only one element in determining the value. Can you get in touch with the attorney working on your file? Will that other attorney give your matter personalized attention? Will that other attorney do his or her best to find creative solutions to achieve your goals when problems arise? The true value of the services rendered depends on looking at all of these factors together, and I strive to ensure that everyday, my office represents the best value for your legal needs.