What is the house closing process?
How does a Georgia real estate closing work?
A closing is also referred to as a settlement or escrow. It is basically the exchange of money (purchase price) for title to the property (deed).
The first step in a closing is agreeing on the terms. This is done in writing and signed by all parties. Property is bought and sold with a purchase and sale agreement or real estate contract. This is usually prepared by a real estate agent or broker. It can also be prepared by a lawyer, buyer or seller.
After the agreement is written and signed — then the attorney, title and closing process starts.
Below is our five step Georgia closing process:
We need a copy of the purchase contract to start your title work. If you need a purchase contract, an attorney can prepare one. Contact us today for a closing cost estimate.
A For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction skips the tradition real estate agent or broker. It is not required in Georgia to use an agent to sell a home.
If a Buyer and Seller have negotiated a purchase price for the home — it’s time to put it in writing. A Real Estate Contract, also called a Purchase and Sale Agreement, is a written agreement, legally binding and enforceable by law.
When to hire a lawyer or title company for Closing?
An attorney is required in the home (for sale by owner) closing process in Georgia. Attorneys handle title, money and deed transfer. If the parties have signed a Real Estate Contract or Purchase and Sale Agreement, then the next step is to open a title order with a real estate attorney. The attorney will then review the title, conduct the closing and disburse funds.
Need help with a Real Estate Contract or Purchase and Sale Agreement.
If the parties are negotiating or agreed on a purchase price, then a real estate attorney can prepare a Purchase Agreement. An attorney will help with the terms and special stipulations in a Contract. Be prepared to discuss the purchase price, earnest money deposit, seller contribution to closing costs, financing, inspection period (due diligence) and any special stipulations.
It depends on the state. Some states allow title companies to conduct home closings, while other states require an attorney to oversee home closings.
Georgia is an attorney-closing state; meaning that an attorney is required in the closing process.
Attorneys are involved in the following closing process:
- draft or review the Purchase and Sale Agreement or Contract
- title search and examination
- oversee execution of deeds, mortgages and other loan closing documents
- disburse funds
- file and record documents in county records
- issue title insurance policy
There are fees charged by lawyers performing real estate closings. These are sometimes called settlement fees, closing costs or title fees. The good news is as a buyer or seller, you can shop around and compare closing costs. The easiest way is to search google for closing attorney near me, then call or email for a quote. You can also ask your real estate agent, broker or loan officer for an attorney referral.
Some questions to ask when shopping for a closing attorneys are:
- what is the average turnaround time for a title search?
- do you offer simultaneous issue rates for owner’s and lender’s title insurance policies?
- is there a special offer available for first time homebuyers or new customers?
Closing Pro is staffed by real estate attorneys and title professionals, working together. This allows for prompt title turnaround and rush closings.