Real estate Closing
All real estate closings in Georgia are required by law to be supervised by an attorney. Georgia, unlike other states, does not allow banker closings. Even so-called “witness-only” closings are not permitted in Georgia unless they are referred from one attorney to another. The job of the closing attorney, apart from being a legal obligation, is to assist individuals engaged in the transaction by supervising and clarifying the transaction so that all parties may ensure they are receiving what they bargained for.
By ensuring that title difficulties are remedied as fast as possible, the closing attorney may assist the real estate agent or broker in completing the deal (preferably well in advance of closing). Uncancelled liens, property owners who have gone away (but without adequate estate management), and so on are examples of title difficulties.
The closing attorney assists the lender or mortgage broker by ensuring that the loan agreements are correctly completed and that the property (which serves as collateral) is free of title difficulties. This keeps the lender at the top of the priority list (unless they are issuing a second position loan).
The closing attorney assists the buyer by ensuring that they are aware of their rights and duties. A skilled closing attorney ensures that well-intentioned buyers, sellers, lenders, and brokers have as smooth and efficient a transaction as possible.
AT CLOSING, WHAT DOES THE ATTORNEY DO?
TITLE: They make sure that the seller has a clear title to the property and may help clear up any previous liens, debts, levies, probate, or other difficulties that are preventing the seller from selling it. The closing attorney who certifies title is usually able to provide title insurance to the lender and/or buyer.
DOCUMENTS: The amount of paperwork required to transfer property, particularly when debt is involved, may be overwhelming. Deeds, promissory notes, security agreements, settlement statements, and other papers are among the documents that the attorney aids in the creation of. At the closing, the attorney discusses those papers to the parties so that everyone understands their rights and responsibilities.
PAYMENT: The closing attorney operates as an escrow agent, ensuring that all of the necessary parties get paid in the proper amounts. This includes receiving mortgage payoffs, prorating Homeowners’ Association dues, Condo fees, property taxes, real estate commissions, and a variety of other issues that must be handled with and prorated upon the transfer of property. This involves ensuring that the seller’s mortgage is paid or discharged, as well as the payment of the seller. The monies for the whole purchase of the property are kept in the attorney’s escrow account until they are disbursed to the right parties, and this element of the service is sometimes referred to as “escrow.”
RECORDING: Many of the papers signed at the closing must be registered in the county or counties where the property is located in the deed records. The attorney ensures that the proper papers are registered (and in the correct sequence; there are several dangers if the incorrect deed or document is entered in the wrong order), as well as ensuring the clerk’s office is compensated for recording and keeping those records.
1. All real estate closings in Georgia are required by law to be overseen by an attorney.
The real estate closing in a house buying scenario occurs when the buyer and seller sign the final purchase and sale contract.
The purchase contract specifies the price, earnest money amount, closing date, any seller-paid closing expenses, and any contingencies (such as finance or appraisal conditions), among other things.
All real estate transactions in Georgia must be closed by a qualified attorney. In certain states, the title firm is in charge of the closing and escrow concerns. In Georgia, however, it is done by a lawyer.
In most transactions, only one attorney is involved, and he represents either the buyer’s lender (if the acquisition is lender-financed) or the buyer (if it is a cash purchase). The buyer and seller, on the other hand, may (and should) engage their own legal counsel to examine all of the paperwork ahead of time and represent them at the closing.
2. The Finale Brings It All to a Close
The second thing to know about Georgia real estate law is that the closing is when the transaction is completed. In other words, if there are any lingering commitments (or “covenants”) in the contract that have not been fulfilled or satisfied after the close, they will not be fulfilled or complied with today.
To put it another way, “covenants” are only enforceable as long as the contract is in effect.
When the seller prepares and delivers the deed to the buyer, the contract is said to be “consummated,” and it ends. It is considered to “blend” with the warranty deed’s stipulations.
This implies that, unless your contract has a “survival provision,” the seller is under no responsibility to complete any promises made in the contract that remain unfulfilled after the closing.
3. If you’re getting a loan to buy a house, the closing attorney isn’t your advocate.
The majority of purchasers will need to finance their purchase. As a consequence, the majority of homeowners get a mortgage from a bank or a private lender.
If you are purchasing a home and have obtained financing, you should be aware that the attorney who handles the closing does not represent you or the seller. Instead, the lender is represented by the closing attorney. This implies that the closing attorney exclusively represents the lender’s interests.
As a consequence, both purchasers and sellers should retain their own legal counsel to analyze all paperwork and represent them at the closing.