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.
Closing costs are necessary fees to buy and sell a home or refinance a mortgage. Lenders provide a Loan Estimate showing services you can shop for. Title is a service you can shop for.
Common closing costs and title fees for a Georgia residential real estate closing
1. Settlement or Closing Fee is to handle and conduct the closing. Georgia is an attorney-closing state, which means that a real estate attorney is engaged to oversee the closing. This fee is for an attorney to go through the closing documents and answer any questions. Also, an attorney must handle the funds (money) and disburse in accordance with the approved settlement statement.
2. Title Search and Examination Fee shows the legal rights to the property. A title search uncovers the legal owner, mortgages, liens, judgments, covenant, restrictions, easements, survey and taxes. A title examination is an attorney’s review of the title documents.
3. Document Preparation or Doc Prep Fee is for an attorney to prepare the deed to legally transfer title from the Seller to the Buyer. Also, the preparation of the Settlement Statement or Closing Disclosure – the document that discloses how money is being handled.
4. Post Closing Fee is to process the documents after closing. Original deeds and mortgages are submitted to the county for recording, then returned to the buyer, borrower and/or lender for safe keeping. Also, digital copies of closing documents are securely stored on servers, which can be accessed anytime.
5. Title Insurance Policy protects ownership rights. Lenders require title insurance to protect mortgage lien rights. Homeowners have the option to purchase title insurance to protect property ownership rights.
6. Transfer Taxes and Recording Fees are government fees. There is a deed tax called a transfer tax and a mortgage tax called the intangible tax. There is also recording fees – the cost to have the deed and mortgage filed in the county records.
Have questions about the closing costs for your transaction? Fees vary based on the Purchase Price and Loan Amount. Contact our Georgia-based real estate closing firm for a quote.