The spring and summer can be busy seasons for real estate. Even after the papers have been signed and the house keys exchanged, there’s still plenty of work to be done.
Real Estate Closings
A real estate closing is when the home seller, home buyer, their respective real estate agents, and lender’s loan officer (if applicable) all gather at the closing attorney’s office to transfer the property deed and complete the sale. Money changes hands, and closing costs are paid as per the Purchase and Sale Agreement. The buyer pays their balance of the down payment and closing costs. Once the seller executes a property deed and delivers the title to the buyer, they’ll receive a check for the proceeds of the sale.
After the Closing
Even though the closing has occurred and the payments and documentation have changed hands, the real estate attorney still has more work to do. The first has to do with disbursement. While many checks are disbursed during closing, there may still be a few financial ends to tie up. The real estate attorney will distribute wires or mail checks not given out during closing. They will also disburse funds to vendors who are listed on the Closing Statement. Before the attorney closes the file, they will make sure that all financial documents have been properly executed as per the bank’s requirements.
The closing attorney will also review the deeds and check that all descriptions are legal and accurate – and correct any issues, if needed. They’ll then send the warranty deed (showing clear title) and security deed (describing mortgage loan terms) to the county courthouse, where the clerk will record them into the county records. The clerk will send the stamped, original deeds back to the closing attorney. The law firm will send copies to the buyer and seller (and any other appropriate parties); the clerk also keeps a copy of the deeds in the county’s public records.
Finally, after the closing, the attorney will send any remaining documents to parties involved in the closing. This can include the homeowner’s association, real estate agents, financial officers, or other relevant individuals. The attorney will make sure the documents are complete and correct, and send them out to those who need them.
While the closing attorney is handling the disbursements, deeds, and documents, the new home buyer has a few of their own post-closing responsibilities. First, the buyer should collect all of their closing documents and keep them in a safe space. If any issues arise after the closing, or if they want to resell the home, they’ll likely have to access their closing package. Second, the new buyer should keep an eye on their mail; the closing attorney may be sending important documents such as checks, updated paperwork, or copies of the deeds from the county courthouse. In the year after their home purchase, the buyer may consider applying for a homestead tax exemption. This is an exemption on property taxes based on the assessed value of their home. Homeowners should check with their county tax office on how and when to apply, as different tax offices have different qualifications and timelines.
Have Additional Questions? Contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates’ Real Estate Team
The closing process can seem a little complicated, but that’s why we’re here to help. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about real estate closings or what to expect when selling or purchasing a new home. If you have any questions, please reach out to our team of experienced real estate attorneys. You can contact us at (770) 933-9009 or via our online contact page.