South Carolina courts have consistently held that the preparation of conveyance, such as deeds and mortgages, review of title abstracts, and conducting real estate closings are the practice of law. These transactions go through at South Carolina attorney. While attorneys may delegate some responsibilities of a transaction, like picking a title research company, South Carolina courts still require the work is still subject to review by a licensed attorney.
The benefit of having the Supreme Court of South Carolina regulate transactions brings a ethical standard to the proceedings. Attorneys have to be deemed competent and ethical enough to practice law in this state by conducting a bar exam and demanding compliance with the Rules of Professional Responsibility. In fact, South Carolina actually considers the unauthorized practice of law a felony with a fine of up to $5000.00, imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
In practice, the purpose of having attorneys conduct transactional closings is not to simply add a step to the transaction, but rather to protect the public at large. Purchasing a home or obligating yourself on a loan is one of the most profound financial decisions you will make in your life. Why not have an attorney, whose purpose is to verify that the laws are met and the transaction is in your best interest to help you navigate the process?
When picking an attorney we suggest choosing an attorney who consistently practices real estate. This insures the office is up to date with current state and Federal law and regulations. Also, real estate attorneys spend less time in court, so usually they make themselves available for you to consult throughout the process. When inquiring about fees, please be aware that not all law offices fees are consistent. Remember to ask the attorney for a detailed fee schedule including all fees, rather than just the designated attorney fee.