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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.

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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, 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. Since there is only one party lender, these types of closings typically take less time than a purchase 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 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

Gap Indemnification

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

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What should I bring with me to the closing?
Should I have my own attorney represent me at the closing?
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Image by Gabriel Komorov

Funds for Closing

Our strong preference is that all earnest money or closing funds are wired. 

Funds over $1000 must be wired to our office using the wiring instructions provided.  We highly recommend that you call our office to verify the wiring instructions before any funds are wired to us. Please call our office at (404) 252-2232 to verify wiring instructions.

Please only email wire instructions to us securely.  We ask you to send confidential information via secure email to prevent wire fraud.

Our law firm DOES NOT accept funds via ACH transfers.  Therefore, funds to close must be WIRED.  Sending funds via an ACH transfer will delay your closing.

Please be aware that we must receive all funds prior to the scheduled time of closing.  If we do not have your funds by the time closing starts, we may need to postpone closing or close in escrow.

Closing in escrow means our law firm will hold off on disbursing any documents or funds from closing until all funds are received and we have approval to disburse.  To avoid this issue, please make sure we have your funds at least the day prior to closing.

You will receive our wiring instructions via secure email a couple of days before closing.  If for some reason you do not receive our wiring instructions, please give us a call so we may send them to you.
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