1. Why do I need a lawyer for my closing?
Conducting a real estate closing is the practice of law, which only an attorney can do. The actual closing, where the closing documents are signed, represents only about one-fifth of the services we provide to you for your real estate transaction. In addition, North Carolina, where lawyers conduct the title examination and closing, has one of the lowest closing costs in the nation.
2. What information do you need from me?
Please complete the information sheet provided to you. Please advise us as soon as possible as to whether you want to order a survey. While we do not order surveys for our clients we can assist you in locating a surveyor in the area your property is located.
3. Should I get a survey?
Years ago lenders required a survey for almost every closing. Now, the choice is usually yours as to whether or not you want to order a survey. You cannot go wrong by getting a survey. You will know the shape and size of the property. You will also know if there are any encroachments (i.e. the next door neighbor's fence is located on your property). Another option is to have your realtor ask the seller's realtor if the seller has a copy of a previous survey on the property. Most clients feel like they can look at the property and tell if any improvements have been made since that survey was made. Although in most cases the survey isn't required, our recommendation is to always obtain a current survey of the property that you intend to purchase. We do not order surveys but will be happy to assist you in locating surveyors in the area in which your property in located.
4 Should I get a home inspection?
The decision to get a home inspection is yours to make but it is highly recommended. A licensed home inspector can find problems with the home that could have a serious impact on value. Not all problems are visible during your walkthrough of the property. A thorough home inspection could reveal defects that may lead you back to negotiations or away from the property altogether. After the closing the general policy is "buyer beware," so its better to spend a small fee to learn what hidden problems your prospective purchase could reveal from the beginning.
5. How long will the closing last?
A closing usually lasts from 45 minutes to an hour.
6. What should I bring with me to closing?
Usually all you need to bring is your driver's license and certified funds, such as an official bank check, certified check, cashier's check or money order made payable to our trust account for the balance you will need to close. We will notify you before the closing if your lender is requesting anything else (we usually do not know what additional items your lender will require until the package arrives).
7. When will I know how much money I will need for closing?
In order to give you your final figure, we will need to receive the closing package from your lender. Typically, we do not receive the package until the day before closing. Sometimes we do not receive your closing package until the day of closing. Although our policy is to require closing packages at least one day in advance in some cases we may not be able to give you your final figure until your scheduled closing time. As soon as we receive the package, we will generate your closing statement. After the closing statement is completed, we will fax it to your realtor or to you directly if you do not have a realtor.
8. Are all of my fees included on the closing statement?
Yes. However, fees and disbursements are subject to the attorney's review and signature.
9. Can I wire the money to your account?
Yes, we can fax or e-mail written wiring instructions to you. Please note, wires are not received immediately. Plan ahead.
10. What if I want to wire the money before I have the final figures?
You can wire us more than you think you will need and we will give you a check for the difference at closing.
11. What if the money I will bring to closing will come from the closing on the sale of my present home?
If the closing on your present property is located in North Carolina, you may bring the check you receive from the closing attorney. If you are closing on a property located outside of North Carolina and you do not have enough time to get a certified check, ask us to fax our wiring instructions to the other closing attorney to request him or her to wire us your proceeds. If the amount wired exceeds the amount you need for our closing, we will write you a check for the difference at closing.
12. Can I write a personal check for the money I owe at closing?
NO, ONLY CERTIFIED FUNDS WILL BE ACCEPTED unless the amount is less than $100.00. All of the money we collect at closing will be disbursed the same day. The Rules of Professional Conduct and State Law require the funds to be immediately available. Personal checks may take several days to clear.
13. What if I am cashing in stocks or retirement plans to use for closing?
Start the process as soon as possible. Our experience has been that the process takes much longer than people think.
14. Can I see a copy of the closing statement before closing?
Yes. We prefer that you review the closing statement before you come to the closing. If you have any questions or corrections, we would like to know as soon as possible. Again if we receive your package or information late we may be unable to allow you to review your closing statement prior to the scheduled closing.
15. Can I see a copy of the loan package before closing?
Yes. After we type your loan package, we copy it to give to you at the closing. If you would like to review it before you get to the closing just call and tell us. We will leave a copy with the receptionist for you to pick up, time permitting.
16. I am married, but the house I am buying will be in my name only, and my spouse will not be a co-borrower on the mortgage. Does my spouse have to come to closing?
Yes. Though your spouse does not need to participate in the buying of the house, he or she must sign the deed of trust. When you get a mortgage loan, you convey to your lender a property interest in your house, and your spouse's potential property rights must be subject to the mortgage.
17. What if my spouse is unable to attend the closing?
Most lenders will allow you to sign on behalf of your spouse as long as you have a properly executed durable power of attorney signed by your spouse. You will need to check with your lender to make sure this will be permitted. Then, call our office and request a power of attorney to be prepared with instructions on how to deliver it to your spouse. This document must be notarized when your spouse signs it. We charge a small fee for preparing the power of attorney and the registry will also charge a fee to record the document.