We often get asked what exactly a closing lawyer does. Firstly, we may be referred to by many names: real estate attorney or lawyer, title attorney, title, escrow, the title company, or closing attorneys. In Georgia, an attorney can only represent one party to a transaction. In residential transactions, though we represent the mortgage lender or cash buyer, our primary objective is to achieve the mission of getting a good and marketable title or insurable title for the buyer and lender. We are ultimately there to ensure the closing process runs smoothly. This process occurs in various steps.
One of the most important steps in the home-buying process is conducting an examination of the title. This begins with a title search or abstract. Through this process, we look at the title history and examine it for any liens, exceptions, or other interests or claims. This step ensures the new buyer will receive a clear title to their new property subject only to acceptable interests like valid HOAs, easements, rights of way as well as any mortgage taken by the buyer.
As part of our escrow duties in settling the transaction, we pay any pending tax bills or verify that all real property taxes have been paid. If the new property belongs to a Homeowners Association, we confirm the property is up-to-date on all payments, as well as gather all pertinent documentation, home warranty information, and insurance policies.
We coordinate with the lender’s office to gather all loan documents and complete the Closing Disclosure documents. This documentation is vital, given that it outlines all the details pertaining to the purchase and sale of the property.
With all the documents prepared, we coordinate with all parties to schedule closing. At closing, we explain all the documentation to the parties before signing. Once the closing process is finalized, payments are distributed to the correct parties and any vendors used in the purchasing process, such as surveyors, and pest inspection companies.
After all documents and payments have been received, signed, and completed, documents, such as new deeds and Security Instruments, are recorded at the courthouse.
A closing lawyer does more than just the legal paperwork. We clear title issues. We make sure that the process is as simple and straightforward as possible. We clarify legal jargon. We are here to protect your assets and help you make purchasing your dream property a reality.
If you are purchasing property soon, Edge & Kimbell Law’s attorneys are here to make the process as stress-free as possible. Reach out to our team to learn more!