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Real Estate

Attorney Dan Milam (Profile,E-Mail) focuses in the area of real property law. Dan has been handling residential and commercial title examinations and real estate closings since 1987. Click here for information on our fees and/or scheduling a property purchase closing or refinance with our office.

The firm does not, except in very rare cases, handle any residential landlord/tenant matters. Readers with an interest in that subject are referred to the North Carolina Bar Association online pamphlet on Landlord and Tenant or to the available online resources at the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.

Readers of this page should be aware that, in North Carolina, the real estate attorney handles both the title examination of the property and the closing. This concept often seems unusual to buyers relocating to our state from “title company” or “abstract” states. In “title company/abstract” states, the title insurance company does the title search and closing, and the role of the attorney in those states, if any, is limited to rendering an opinion upon the findings of the title company. In those states, the buyer never meets an attorney and rarely, if ever, encounters a real estate service provider which is looking out for the interests of the buyer.

For now, North Carolina has wisely decided to retain the older, but better, approved attorney system for residential and commercial real estate closings in our state. Under this system, North Carolina title companies issue title insurance policies based upon the report and findings of a North Carolina approved attorney after a title examination conducted by that attorney. Buyers appear for closing in the offices of the closing attorney, and after all documents required for closing are signed, escrow is usually closed immediately, documents are recorded and funds are disbursed. Early in 2003, as a result of demands made on North Carolina by the Federal Trade Commission, unlicensed and unregulated settlement services were allowed for closings in North Carolina. Stay tuned for consumer disasters to come in North Carolina.....

Under the current system, the Buyer is free to select any licensed and approved North Carolina attorney for their closing. Sellers are also free to select counsel, if they wish, but the vast majority of North Carolina residential closings are handled by one attorney. This sensible procedure recognizes that the sale and purchase of residential real property is usually not adversarial, since both parties are trying to accomplish the same goal. Under the current North Carolina system utilizing licensed and approved North Carolina real estate attorneys, total settlement service costs for buyers (that is, closing services, title examination and title insurance) are among the lowest in the nation.

For more information, you might want to check out a pamphlet entitled Buying a Home in North Carolina. This pamphlet is produced for the education of the public by the North Carolina Bar Association, and can be found online (Buying a Home in North Carolina) or by contacting the North Carolina Bar Association.

Real estate work usually comes to our firm either by the direct contact of a buyer or refinancing borrower, or by referral from a real estate agent, mortgage lender or a national title insurance company. Although we have a very busy practice, we make every effort to close any real estate transaction in which our services are requested. Please be aware that an attorney-client relationship for a residential real estate closing will exist between the buyer/borrower client and Milam & Idol, PLLC only when (1) the buyer/borrower client designates our office as the closing attorney and (2) follows up this designation by scheduling and confirming an actual closing date with our office.

The fees charged by our firm for residential real estate title examination and closing services are, in most cases, a fixed amount based on the type of transaction. You can visit our Residential Real Estate Closing Fees page for a detailed list of our current fee schedule.

Fees charged for commercial transactions, again depending on the services requested, are either a percentage of the transaction or an hourly rate, both negotiated with the client on a case-by-case basis.