Home Buyer: What to Expect at Closing

As a new home buyer, you may be wondering what to expect at closing.  Here is some great information, provided by O'Kelley & Sorohan, Attorneys at Law.

Prior to closing, you will need to provide the following information: 

  1. Current Mailing Address
  2. Social Security Number.  This is necessary to verify whether or not there are liens or judgments made against you in the county that the property is located.  Once the property is transferred into your name, any liens placed against you will attach to the property.  The social security numbers will not be released to anyone but the State of Georgia and/or IRS as required by law.
  3. Corporation/LLC:  If you are signing on behalf of a corporation, you must supply a copy of the corporate resolution.  If you are signing on behalf on an LLC, you will need to supply a copy of the LLC Operating Agreement.

Who Attends the closing?  The closing is attended by purchasers, sellers, real estate agents, closing attorneys and usually loan officers.  Generally, everyone who is on the loan application and/or title must be present at closing to sign loan documents.  If you are unable to attend the closing and you are on the loan and/or title, you will need to have the closing attorney approve the use of Power of Attorney, and certain fees will apply.

What are your closing costs?  Your Good Faith Estimate will give you a good idea of the amount you will need to bring to closing.  If your cash needed at closing is more than $5,000 Georgia Law requires that you wire the funds to the closing attorney's account.  Check with your banking institution well ahead of the closing as some banks take up to one week to complete a wire transfer.  You will need to initiate your wire transfer in time to have your funds reach the attorney's account prior to closing.  If your cash due at closing is less than $5,000 you may bring a personal, cashier's, or certified check made payable to the closing attorney.  If either your wire or your check is for an amount more than your final closing costs, the attorney will issue you a change check at the closing.  

Title Insurance: Lender's Title Insurance is required by all mortgage lenders.  However, Owner's Title insurance is an optional insurance coverage ensuring title to your property.  It is strongly recommended you purchase title insurance for the following reasons:

  • While Lender's coverage is required, Lender's Title Insurance does NOT provide protection for the Buyer. 
  • A title search is performed on the property, but there are several types of title problems that can arise, such as liens, mortgages, easements, and other defects in title that were either not discovered, not yet recorded, or filed incorrectly. 
  • Defects in title could mean that you will be held responsible for unpaid taxes, liens, or mortgages on the property.  
If you have Owner's Title Insurance and your policy covers the defect in title, then you can file a claim with the Title Company and they will either negotiate a settlement or take the case to court.  Regardless, you will not be responsible for any attorney's fees or damages.  
Survey:  Lenders do not require a survey, but it is recommended.  There will be an additional fee for the survey.
What to Bring to Closing: 
  • Each borrower needs a Government Issued Photo ID, such as a driver's license, state ID or passport
  • Original Power of Attorney (if applicable)
We hope this information will help you be prepared for a smooth closing.  

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