If you are using bank or mortgage company financing you will be required to use an attorney. The law allows private parties buying with cash to prepare their own deeds, but that makes about as much sense as doing your own brain surgery! Attorneys check title and issue title insurance to ensure that the buyer gets what they are paying for. They prepare proper deeds and other recordable instruments and make sure that they are recorded properly. Attorneys safeguard and disburse closing funds and make all proper and required state and federal reporting.
In transactions involving realtors, they schedule the closing in consultation with the buyer’s lender. The parties would schedule a closing in the absence of realtor representation.
All buyers and sellers need to attend or make arrangements for a power of attorney to be completed to allow an attorney-in-fact to sign for them. We cannot perform closings online at this time, although, that technology may not be too far off in the future. A non-borrowing spouse, that is, one who will own the property but not be responsible for the loan, must also come to the closing.
Title exams are conducted by attorneys or highly trained personnel called abstractors. Conducting a title exam is a specialized skill that takes years of practice to achieve proficiency. All of our abstractors are highly experienced and carry their own insurance. The attorney conducts many title searches himself.
There are two types of title insurance: owners’ and lender’s. Lenders require a buyer to purchase a lender’s policy of title insurance to protect the lender’s interest against any undisclosed, undiscovered or latent title defects. That type of policy only provides protection for a lender. An owners’ policy of title insurance protects homebuyers against the same type of title defects. Examples of issues that can be insured against are: fraudulent or forged deeds, undiscovered heirs of a deceased predecessor in title, mechanics and materialmens liens, errors in survey, encroachments, rights to easements and to access public roads, uncancelled security deeds, and many more. Everyone benefits from a title insurance policy.
Your lender can give you an estimate of the amount to bring. It’s a good idea to wire a little extra or to bring a personal check to closing in case the numbers change for some reason.
Georgia law requires that an attorneys only make disbursement from a lawyer trust account on funds that are on deposit. In order to disburse at closing, the money has to be in the account, which is a very different thing from having a check to be deposited, which may take days to clear. For this reason, we request that funds in excess of $5,000.00 be sent in a bank wire, funds between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 can be in a certified check and a personal check is fine for amounts under $1,000.00. If a Seller needs to bring funds to closing, that amount must always be wired.
If a party cannot attend closing, we can make arrangement for a power of attorney to be complete that will allow an attorney-in-fact to attend in place of that party and sign for them.
Cash closings, in which there is no loan, typically require less than ten minutes. Loan closings typically take between thirty minutes to an hour to completed, but can last longer if funding approval is delayed or changes are necessary
We will provide wiring instructions that you can take to your bank. Wiring funds is NOT the same as bill pay! Please call our office to verbally confirm that the wire instructions are correct. We will never change wire instructions and if you receive amended wire instructions, you are advised they should not be relied upon and you should call our office immediately.