Why You Need an Attorney for Closings
Steps That Can Help You in the Long Run August is a busy month at Eversole Law. While we always have a lot going on, we tend to do more closings in August because families want to be settled in their new homes before the school year begins. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are ready to buy or sell in South Carolina. The South Carolina Supreme Court views closing real estate transactions as the practice of law. Attorneys are required for closings for several sound reasons. A closing where lenders are involved can be a complicated process involving legally binding documents such as contracts, promissory notes, and mortgages — the overview of which ensures that your rights are protected. Attorneys will also look back through the public records for previous liens encumbrances, errors in the deeds in the chain of title, and other documents to make sure that you will have marketable title to the property or otherwise bring problems to your attention that may prevent the title from being marketable and that the seller should cure before the closing takes place.
When it comes to choosing an attorney to represent you, the choice is entirely yours. Some people have been told that they had to use a particular attorney or firm even if the buyer hadn’t heard of them before. Whether you’re told to or not, you can choose who you want to represent you. If you do not know a closing attorney, your Realtor or mortgage broker should give you the names of at least three attorneys they know are competent closing attorneys, and you then have the option of choosing from that list. Let’s face it: Since you are paying the attorney, you should choose who you want to represent you. Likewise, sellers have the right to choose their attorney to assist them in the transaction. Unlike other states, the buyer and seller do not usually come together to close at the same time. If you think about it, why would a seller need to be present for the buyer’s closing on the loan? When the day of closing has arrived, there are a few things that you’ll need to bring with you. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, you will need a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, or passport. If you’re the purchaser, you will need to bring any necessary final funds, which can be in the form of an official bank check, cashier’s check, certified check, or money order made payable to the trust account of the closing attorney, or the funds can be wired to the attorney beforehand. If you are the seller, you will sign a deed and other seller’s documents. You will then receive your proceeds from the sale when there has been an exchange of the proceeds for the deed conveying title to the purchaser and the keys. The day of closing is usually a happy occasion. We enjoy doing them here and look forward to helping you buy or sell. Until next time, we hope you have had a wonderful summer. -Alysoun Eversole www.eversolelaw.com 1
“When it comes to choosing an attorney to represent you, the choice is entirely yours.”
There have been times when lenders from other states have tried to either entirely avoid the use of an attorney or tried not to get one involved as much as possible in what are known as “witness only” closings. In South Carolina, it’s considered illegal for lenders to not use an attorney for a closing on a mortgage. Although title agents conduct closings in other states, it is not permitted here. As soon as you’ve signed a contract agreeing to purchase a piece of real estate and chosen your lender, contact an attorney to discuss the closing process if you have not already done so before signing the contract.
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