There are a number of expenses involved with buying or selling a piece of property. There’s the new mortgage, taxes, and insurance; the cost of making any necessary repairs to the property to prepare it for sale; realtor fees; and a variety of other expenses. In addition, there are fees involved with the final step of the transaction, which is called the closing. At the closing, the seller conveys ownership of the property to the buyer.
Real Estate Closing Settlement Fees
A South Carolina real estate closing attorney typically charges a flat fee for conducting the closing. In most cases, the fee is several hundred dollars, and in some situations, it may be over $1,000. Many real estate clients only see the real estate closing attorney at the closing itself and may wonder why these fees are in place. However, there is quite a bit of work that closing attorneys must do to prepare for the closing and ensure that the property is being properly transferred from the sellers to the buyers.
First, the closing attorney will conduct a title search to check the status of the property. The title search will confirm that the seller has full ownership of the property and is in a position to transfer it to the buyer. The title search will also show if there are any easements, encroachments, or other restrictions on the property. The attorney will also prepare an opinion on the title that is presented to a title company. This document will be used in the event that the buyer wants to purchase title insurance.
Real Estate Closing Attorney Responsibilities
Closing attorneys are also responsible for facilitating communication between a number of parties necessary to the finalization of the deal. The closing attorney may need to discuss the sale with lenders, real estate agents, surveyors, any current mortgage holders, tax offices, homeowners associations, and a variety of other individuals. The closing attorney must communicate with these individuals to make sure all of the details involved with the sale are accurate and also to ensure that the closing is completed on time.
During the closing itself, the closing attorney will explain the documents to the parties as they sign them. There are a number of documents that must be signed at a closing, including the deed, settlement statement, loan documentation, a promissory note, and other documents as required by law. The closing attorney is available to answer any questions about these documents that the parties may have.
After The Closing
A closing attorney’s work does not end when the parties leave the office. After the closing has been completed, the closing attorney will update the title to the property on local registry of deed websites and will record the deed. In addition, the closing attorney is responsible for disbursing fees, including brokerage fees, taxes, loan payoff amounts, seller proceeds, insurance premiums, and inspection fees.
After the transaction has been completed, if any issues arise with the transfer of the property, the closing attorney may be consulted if necessary to help resolve the issue.
Clearly, the real estate closing attorney does not simply sit with the parties at the closing and have them sign documents. The closing attorney’s guidance is a necessity to ensure the transition of ownership goes smoothly and that the parties understand the legal requirements of the deal.
Let us manage your closing
The real estate attorneys at the De Bruin Law Firm are experienced in a variety of real estate transactions, including residential, commercial, refinancing, and equity loan matters. To schedule a closing with our real estate attorneys, call (864) 982-5930.
If you're considering buying or selling real estate in South Carolina or are already negotiating a contract we'd love to help you close on your transactions.