How to Prepare for a Closing

How to Prepare for a Closing

TO BUY A HOME:

Obtain your lender and fulfill their requirements for the loan.  Stay in contact with your lender and your realtor as you go through the mortgage process.  If there are changes to the sales contract, be sure to provide them to the lender and to the closing attorney’s office as soon as possible.

Select a hazard/homeowner’s insurance company.  Decide if you will pay the first year’s premium prior to closing, or if you would prefer that it be collected at the closing.  Provide proof of coverage to the closing attorney’s office prior to the closing date.  Bring a driver’s license or other form of government photo identification to closing.  We will send you a Buyer Information Sheet that will need to be filled out and returned to us as soon as possible.

Make arrangements to transfer your required funds for closing.  Your Closing Disclosure will give you a good idea of the amount you will need to bring to closing.  We can give you a more accurate amount closer to your closing date.  If your cash to close will be more than $5,000.00, Georgia law requires that you wire the funds to our account.  We will send you our wire instructions via secure email.   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 be sure to initiate your wire transfer in plenty of time to have your funds reach our account prior to closing.  If your cash to close is less than $5,000.00, you may bring a personal, cashiers, or certified check made payable to Campbell & Brannon, LLC.  We cannot accept checks made out to the buyer.

Lender’s Title Insurance is required by all mortgage lenders.  However, Owner’s Title Insurance is a small one-time charge for protection of one of your largest investments as well as peace of mind.  This insurance will protect the owner against any defects in title which may not have been detected by the title exam.

Many mortgage lenders no longer require surveys for real property purchases here in Georgia.  Our attorneys strongly recommend that all purchasers purchase a survey for their new home.  Please let the closing attorney know if you would like a survey to be ordered.  The usual cost is $450.00 to $550.00.

If you will not be able to attend the closing, please let us know if you would like to set up a mail-away closing or if you would like to sign a Power of Attorney and have someone come to the closing to sign as your designated Attorney-in-Fact.  Also, if only one spouse will be on the loan and you would like to add your spouse to title, please let us know so that we can prepare a deed for you to sign at closing.

TO SELL A HOME:

Stay in contact with the realtor and the closing attorney while you are waiting to close.  Be sure to provide copies of any changes to the sales contract to the closing attorney’s office as soon as possible.  If your contract requires you to pay for repairs to the home, keep copies of all receipts and provide them to the closing attorney’s office.

We will send you a Seller Information Sheet which will need to be filled out and returned to us as soon as possible.  Delaying return of the needed information could result in additional fees from your lenders and/or Homeowner’s Associations for rush requests.  Please provide us with the names, telephone numbers, and account numbers of any and all lenders that hold mortgages, loans, or equity lines on the property being sold.  Please provide the social security numbers for all persons on title to the property and who are on the loans being paid off.  Provide forwarding address information and telephone numbers for all sellers to the closing attorney’s office, as well.

If the property is located in a subdivision with a Homeowner’s Association, the name and contact information for the Association will be needed by the closing attorney’s office.  The amount of the yearly dues and the status of the dues will be confirmed with the Association, and in some cases the Homeowner’s Association will require that you pay for that statement of account up front.

Driver’s license or other government issued photo identification is required to be provided by all sellers.  If you will be bringing funds to the closing, they must be sent to us via wire.  Wiring instructions for each of our offices are located on the “Your Resources” page, as well as on each individual office page.  Please make sure to wire your funds to the location which is handling your transaction.  If you will be receiving proceeds from the sale of your property, please let us know if you would prefer a check at closing, or if you would prefer that we wire your proceeds directly into your account. If you would prefer a wire, please use the form that we will provide which can be notarized at closing.

If the property you are selling is vested in a company or trust, we will need additional information from you.  Please have your trust agreement, operating agreement, and/or articles of incorporation available to provide to your closing attorney for review.  If you will not be able to attend the closing in person, please let us know if you would like to set up a mail away closing, or to sign a Power of Attorney designating an Attorney-in-Fact to come to closing and sign on your behalf.

If you are receiving proceeds from the sale of investment property and are not a Georgia resident, please alert your closing attorney so that we may discuss possible tax implications with you.

TO REFINANCE:

Obtain a lender and fulfill their requirements for the loan.  Contact the closing attorney to provide pay-off lender information: account numbers, telephone numbers and social security numbers for all borrowers on any loans being paid off.  Bring a driver’s license or other government issued photo identification to closing.

Make arrangements to transfer your required funds to closing.  Your Closing Disclosure will give you a good idea of the amount you will need to bring to closing.  We can give you a more accurate amount closer to your closing date.  If your cash to close will be more than $5,000.00, Georgia law requires that you wire your funds to our account.  We will send you our wire instructions securely.  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 be sure to initiate your wire transfer in plenty of time to have your funds reach our account before closing.  If your cash to close is less than $5,000.00, you may bring a personal, cashiers, or certified check made payable to Campbell & Brannon, LLC.  We cannot accept checks made out to the borrower.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE CLOSING?

The closing attorney, who acts on behalf of the mortgage lender, will orchestrate the signing of numerous documents.  Typically, the purchaser(s) or borrower(s) will sign a Promissory Note (the “IOU” which specifies the amount borrowed, the interest rate, and the time in which to repay the debt), Security Deed (the deed which allows the lender to foreclose on the property if the borrower fails to repay the debt and is recorded in the County courthouse), Closing Disclosure, and other lender documents.  The seller will sign a deed transferring the title to the property to the purchaser.  The Settlement Statement, which is also known as a closing statement, will show all the details of the transaction, including the amount that the purchaser/borrower needs to bring to the closing, as well as the amount the seller will receive.