If you are buying or selling property in Georgia, and there is a loan involved, a closing attorney will have to complete the transaction.
In some states, bankers that provide the finance are able to close the deal. Some even allow “witness-only” closings without an attorney being present. In Georgia, the closing attorney legally represents the lender but ensures that the deal is closed in the interests of all parties involved, including both the buyer and the seller.
What the Closing Attorney Is Required to Do
Essentially, the closing attorney or commercial closing attorney in a Georgia property transaction is required to ensure that the entire transaction is legal and runs smoothly. If there are any title issues, the closing attorney will be tasked with resolving these. These might include anything from liens that haven’t been canceled to issues arising from a deceased estate.
The closing attorney will also have to ensure that documents are delivered to the correct people, make certain the loan documents are in order and ensure that the purchaser understands all his or her obligations. To carry the deal to conclusion, the closing attorney will also prepare the closing statement and disburse money in terms of this statement.
This might seem simple, but there is a huge amount of documentation, let alone finances, involved it is staggering that all states don’t use dedicated closing attorneys for real estate deals.
Specific Tasks a Closing Attorney is Responsible For
Documents need to be signed and recorded. Payments need to be made. Ultimately, title to the property bought or sold needs to be registered, and the person selling the property needs to be paid.
- Title In normal circumstances, anybody who buys property will get the title deed to the property. But there are a number of issues that usually need to be sorted before title can be transferred from one person to another. These include loans, liens, and if the property is being transferred because of death, probate that involves “proving” the person’s “will” in court.
- Documents There are more of these than anyone who has ever bought or sold a property could ever imagine. The closing attorney is responsible for ensuring that these documents are properly prepared and will also ensure that all the parties involved understand all their rights and obligations in terms of the contracts they have signed.
- Payments Property transactions aren’t usually simple. In addition to the buyer and the seller, there are usually also mortgage companies and/or banks, as well as property taxes, commissions due to real estate agents, as well as other fees due. If the seller has a mortgage, this will need to be paid and released before the seller gets the balance due for the sale. Generally, the closing attorney will hold this money in escrow until the deal is complete and all the documents have been recorded.
- Recording The closing attorney will ensure that the lender, as well as buyer and seller, get all necessary signed documents. It is also the closing attorney’s responsibility to ensure that the title deed and various other documents are lodged with the county (or state) where the property is located. There are usually payments linked to these records.
Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard are a leading commercial closing attorney firm in Georgia that will handle all your property transactions. You can rely on us when you buy or sell a property. Call today to set up a date for a consultation.