Real Estate

A closing (or settlement) is the final step in executing a real estate transaction. The closing usually takes place on a specified date and time during which all the parties (buyers, sellers, agents, and lenders) meet at a real estate attorney’s office (or other specified location) and exchange ownership of a piece of property for a sum of money.
McLain and Merritt will make every effort to furnish the Settlement Statement or HUD-1 to all the parties involved prior to closing. However, because the HUD-1 consists of finalized detailed information that must be verified by both the lender and the closing attorney, sometimes there is not enough time to review it before closing. If this is the case, we will make every effort to give you a close, but estimated, amount needed to close and the amount of proceeds.
For your convenience, we have come up with a Buyerís/Borrower’s Checklist, a Seller’s Checklist, and an Agent’s Checklist to prepare you for the closing. From the McLain & Merritt Home page, click on the “Real Estates Closing” tab and then the “Forms” tab.
The closing itself is fairly easy due to the fact most of the work is done before the parties come to the table. Most closings are finished within an hour. The duration of closing is dictated by the number of documents that the lender requires its borrower to sign and the amount of discussion the parties engage in at the table. Occasionally, there is a problem of some sort with the loan or with an unresolved contract issue, in which case the closing can take longer.
(1) A clean copy of your loan application that is typed. Signing this document means that you are certifying that the information in the loan application is correct. (2) If you take out a loan, you will be asked to sign two important documents: a. The Not – basically, this is simply an IOU in which you personally promise to pay the money back to the lender under the agreed terms. Please review the note in order to ensure that the rate is what you agreed to, you understand when your first payment is due, and that the payment amount is what you expected. b. The Security Deed – this is the document in which you transfer a security interest in the property over to the lender to hold until the debt is paid in full. Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state; that means that it gives the lender the right to take the property away from you if you fail to pay as agreed. (3) You will sign many other documents required by the lender including Name Affidavits, Escrow Agreements, etc., but none will be as important as the two listed above.

Sellers, by the nature of the transaction, do not have to sign many forms at the closing table. The most important document Sellers sign is the Warranty Deed. This deed transfers the property from the Seller’s name to the Purchaser’s name. In addition, Sellers will be signing the Settlement Statement and other documents pertaining to tax matters and errors and omissions

Yes, or the lender will not allow the closing to occur.

In Georgia, the closing attorney represents the lender. Most buyers and sellers rely on the competence and professionalism of the closing attorney rather than hiring their own attorneys. With that being said, buyers and sellers always have the option of hiring an attorney to represent them during the closing process.
Please provide comprehensive wiring instructions to the pre-closer before the closing occurs. If necessary, you can give the instructions to the closing attorney.
Georgia law prohibits closing attorneys from taking more than $5000 in personal funds. Therefore, you must get either a cashier’s check or certified check for the amount needed to close. You may also directly wire the funds into the McLain & Merritt’s Real Estate Escrow Account (please contact one of our preclosers for Wiring Instructions). When requesting the cashier’s check or certified check, it is a good practice to make it out to oneself, rather than to McLain and Merritt. If the exact amount isn’t known prior to closing, just get a cashier’s or certified check in the estimated amount needed, and bring your personal checkbook to closing to make up the small difference. If you bring more than the amount needed, the closing attorney will be happy to refund the money to you at closing.

Title Insurance provides protection for the named insured from loss caused by adverse claims made against the title to real estate. Such losses can be caused by various matters, including forgeries, liens for unpaid labor or materials used to improve the property, unreleased security interests, encroachments, violations of restrictive covenants, building permit laws, subdivision and zoning laws and supplemental real estate taxes, to name a few.
Lenders require title insurance to be purchased by the Borrower to protect their security interest in the property for the full loan amount.
A separate policy of title insurance protects the Purchaser’s interest in the property, up to the full purchase price. While McLain & Merritt, PC will do an expert title examination, there are many undetectable title issues that could cause severe financial and emotional loss. Owner’s title insurance is a very important and inexpensive protection for the Purchaser’s investment in real estate and should be purchased at the closing.

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