Attorney State Versus Title State

Attorney States Versus Title States

After 20 years of renting, we’ve bought two houses in the last ten years. We’ve also sold one home. We’ve learned that selling a house can be complicated, so having a knowledgeable realtor is imperative. We’ve also learned that some states are attorney states, and some are title states, and the difference between those two types is vast. One is much easier and quicker to negotiate than the other.

What Are Title States?

If you’re going to utilize a mortgage, title states are states where the title company handles the real estate transaction. This usually means the transaction is quicker and has less red tape.

What Are Attorney States?

In attorney states, an attorney must be present at closing and typically reviews all the documents and monitors the entire purchase transaction. This usually means the transaction takes longer, and any changes during the buying process must be made through the attorney.

Our Experience Buying and Selling in a Title State

Attorney State Versus Title State

We bought our first house in Arizona, which is a title state. From the time the owners accepted our offer to the time we owned the house was approximately 30 days. The title company led us through the closing, asking for needed documents and sitting in the room with us when we signed our closing documents.

When we sold our home, the new owners were extremely eager to own the home and wanted to close in two days. We could not do that, but we could accommodate them and close in 16 days. Closing so quickly was only possible because we were in a title state. It would not have been possible in an attorney state.

Our Experience Buying in an Attorney State

When we moved from Arizona to New York, we assumed that the home buying and closing process would be like our first experience in Arizona. Unfortunately, we didn’t know about title and attorney states. We only learned that New York was an attorney state because I was on a New York Facebook group asking about different suburbs when someone casually mentioned that the buying and closing process would take longer because New York is an attorney state.

The owners of the house we wanted accepted our offer, and we set a closing date that was 60 days away. We are now just one day away from that closing date, and I know we will not close tomorrow. Instead, we’ll likely close in another two or three weeks, which means our closing process will take close to three months.

Final Thoughts

If you want to buy a house, first determine if you live in a title state or an attorney state. If you live in a title state, be prepared for a 30-day or less window to closing. If you live in an attorney state, know that you must pay for a lawyer who will monitor all transactions. If you’re lucky, you will close in 60 days. If you’re not, you may close in 80 to 90 days, or longer.

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