Closing Process / FAQ
Our firm strives to provide an efficient and professional closing process. We work cooperatively with our clients to ensure that all details are covered in order to provide a successful outcome. While each transaction is unique, following are some general guidelines for the closing process.
How long will the closing last?
We schedule all purchase closings with a loan for 90 minutes, and cash purchase closings for 60 minutes. While most closings are finished more quickly, we want all parties to feel comfortable and confident throughout the closing process while documents are executed, lender funding approval is obtained, and funds are disbursed. We don't want clients to feel rushed during this process, or have to wait while prior closing is wrapping up.
Refinance closings are scheduled for 60 minutes, but most are completed in approximately 45 minutes. These types of closings typically take less time than a purchase closing because they only involve a borrower and a lender.
What should I bring with me to the closing?
Sellers should bring one form of ID.
Buyers should bring two forms of ID, including a picture ID, and their checkbook.
In the state of Georgia, the closing attorney represents the lender where one is involved. Our role is to ensure all legal requirements of the contract and closing are satisfied, including: title, drafting legal documents and ensuring they are properly executed; recording; and disbursing funds appropriately. While all buyers and sellers have the option of hiring an attorney to personally represent them, most rely on the closing attorney to mediate the closing process.
What if I live outside the State of Georgia and /or the United States?
If you live out of the state or country, you have a few options:
Make travel arrangements to attend the closing.
Appoint and sign a Power of Attorney (Please note, that if are working with a lender, this must be approved by them first). We can prepare this document for for an additional fee.
You will need to have the documents emailed to you ahead of the closing in time for you to sign and return the original documents to our office. Special requirements apply to this situation, and you are encouraged to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss. Additional fees will apply for this service.
If you live out of the state or country, you are likely subject to certain income taxes that we are required to withhold on behalf of the State of GA or the IRS. It is important that you let us know as soon as possible if you reside outside of the State of Georgia or out of the country, so that we can send you the proper documentation to complete in advance of the closing to determine if any tax is due. You may need to consult with a CPA in regard to the tax withholding because our firm does not provide tax advice. We only act as a conduit to collect and remit applicable withholding taxes at the time of the closing.
What if I can't attend the closing?
Appoint and sign a Power of Attorney (Please note, that if you are working with a lender, this must be approved by them first). We can prepare this document for you for an additional fee.
You will need to have the documents emailed to you ahead of closing in time for you to sign and return the original documents to our office. Special requirements apply to this situation, and you are encouraged to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss. Additional fees will apply for this service.
What if the buyer or seller is a Corporation, LLC, Trust or Estate?
We will need additional documentation such as Operating Agreements, By-Laws, Trust Agreement and current Certification, or complete Estate documents. Please let our office know immediately, so that we can provide you with a list of what we will be required to close. We will also need a tax identification number prior to closing.
Should buyers purchase owner's insurance?
A title insurance policy will be issued insuring your lender, if applicable, in connection with the purchase of your property. The title insurance policy only insures your lender, but it does not insure the purchase. It protects the lender if you default on your loan and there are title issues when the lender needs to foreclose on the property. Knowing this, we encourage you to purchase title insurance coverage, or "Owner's Title Insurance" to protect your investment in the property. This will insure up to the purchase price against loss or damage resulting from most defects in the title and pay defense costs in the event of a challenge to your title. We are happy to provide a more detailed break-down of what is covered in an Owner's Title Insurance Policy.
How will I know how much money to bring?
Our office will provide you and/or your agent a copy of the settlement statement prior to closing. We strive to provide this a day or two prior to closing, but that is dependent upon the lender's delivery of final figures, if applicable, and any pre-closing items being delivered. If applicable, the lender should provide you with a Closing Disclosure with a close or final amount due three (3) days prior to closing. If our firm has not sent you the final settlement statement, please contact us to verify the amount to be wired prior to sending it.
We may ask you to send a small amount of additional funds to cover potential increases, and we will then be happy to give you an overage check at the closing table in that case.
Funds should be wired to our office one day prior to closing. You can contact our office directly for wiring instructions.
We do not accept ACH transfers of funds. Some banks, such as Bank of America, are setup for ACH transfers of funds. Please verify with your bank that you are wiring funds in the proper manner.
What does the seller sign?
Settlement Statement and Seller Closing Disclosure (if buyer is obtaining a loan)
Warranty Deed or Limited Warranty Deed
Seller's or Owner's Affidavit
Seller's Affidavit of Residence and Withholding Tax Affidavit
Affidavit of Exemption from Withholding (for residential sales)
1099-s Reporting Form