We live in Australia and we bought a new apartment in the US(NYC). We already paid 30% of the apartment price and for the closing we need to pay 70%. Our US lawyer told us that we should transfer the funds to his trust account and he will be the one that will distribute the funds to the seller(the sponsor). He will also be the one that will distribute the funds to taxes etc.
Our local lawyer in Australia (that is not highly proficient in US law or US real estate) said that he is a bit scared and that we should transfer the funds to the trust account of the seller and not to our lawyer. We discussed this with our US lawyer and of course he said that we should trust him and that he will not run away with our money and lose his license. He also said that :
If the sellers were paying off a mortgage, for example, he(our us lawyer) would need to provide certified checks for the closing.
If something happens at the closing and we wind up not closing or it gets postponed, then the seller is sitting there with our money and we have no deed to show for it.
What should we do? Should we transfer the funds to our US attorney or insist to transfer it to the Seller account?