Residential Real Estate Closings

Residential Real Estate Closings in South Carolina: Do I Need a Lawyer?

A real estate closing is a practice of law in South Carolina and, therefore, must be supervised by a licensed attorney. State v. Buyers Service Co., 357 S.E.2d 15 (S.C. 1986). The attorney must review the title search, conduct the closing, record the legal documents, and disburse funds. Reviewing the title records requires an attorney’s expertise to ensure there are no prior liens, encumbrances, or faulty conveyances and to guarantee the buyer receives a title free and clear of any errors.

Do I Need an Attorney to Refinance My Home?

Yes, a South Carolina attorney will need to supervise the mortgage closing. For the same reasons stated above, a home refinance requires an attorney to oversee the closing. The mortgage will attach to the property and affect the title.

Residential Real Estate Closings: Who Chooses the Attorney?

Typically, the buyer chooses the closing attorney according to the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code. This ensures the attorney provides the buyer with a clean title to the property as intended. Realtors and lenders must heed the buyer’s choice of closing attorney. Our office treats buyer and seller the same throughout the entire transaction, and we are here to assist each party. Additionally, the attorney is impartial and will not represent the buyer or seller if there is a dispute over the closing process of the home.

What Information Will the Attorney Need from Me?

Once the attorney receives the purchase contract, information gathering begins. Our office will gather information from you and get help from your realtor and mortgage servicers. The buyer will need to provide all necessary contact information, loan information, and homeowner’s insurance information. The seller will need to provide all necessary contact information, loan servicing, payoff information, and homeowners association information, including proof of paid fees and a new forwarding address.

What does the Attorney do Prior to Residential Real Estate Closings?

In addition to gathering information, the closing attorney is busy examining the property’s title, reviewing the chain of ownership to verify mortgages and liens are satisfied, and ensuring prior deeds are faultless. The attorney also secures title insurance to ensure a good title. Finally, the attorney’s office is preparing documents and disclosures with the lender and realtors so that the finalization of a closing package is ready.

What do I Need to Bring to Closing?

You will need two forms of current identification—typically a driver’s license and a social security card. You may also bring other forms of government-issued ID, such as a passport, military ID, voter’s registration, etc. The buyer will bring any necessary money to close in the form of certified funds. The seller will also need to bring the keys to the property!

Who Attends Residential Real Estate Closings?

Of course, the Buyer and Seller are present at closing unless documents have been signed remotely or in advance. The Buyer and Seller will review and sign documents separately. Note that if a husband and wife own property jointly titled in both their names, then they will both need to be present at closing. The realtors often choose to be present at closing; occasionally, loan officers will also attend.

When Will I Receive my Funds?

For a cash purchase closing: sellers will receive their funds after all closing documents have been signed and the closing attorney has completed a quick check of the public record for any changes.

For a purchase closing involving a lender: once the buyer and seller sign all closing documents, the attorney’s office will send documents to the lender for approval. The attorney’s office will receive funding authorization from the lender, and then the attorney’s office may disburse funds. Any outstanding taxes, recording fees, mortgages, invoices from third parties, realtor commissions, etc., must be paid first. Then, the seller will receive funds on the day of closing.

For a refinance or home equity line of credit closing: a 3-day right of rescission period applies for transactions involving a borrower’s primary residence, so funds are typically disbursed 3 business days after closing. A prior mortgage may contain funds in escrow that need to be refunded, and those funds are typically provided directly from the prior lender within thirty (30) days.

Hyde Law Firm offers an attentive and easy closing experience on real estate. Our professional and prompt staff is here to help you. Call 864-804-6330 today to schedule your closing.

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