The closing process is often a complicated process, especially for first-time homebuyers. Fortunately, The Hudson Law Firm, LLC, an Atlanta-based real estate law firm renowned for providing world-class real estate closing and title services, can help. We have laid out the typical closing process for a real estate transaction in Georgia in the form of a step-by-step guide:
1. The Contract Signing
The real estate closing process will begin after both the buyer and the seller sign the final purchase and sale contract. This contract will include the price, earnest money, the projected closing date, any of the closing costs paid by the seller, the name of the law firm that will handle the closing, and any contingencies that you may have sorted out.
2. Buyer Submits Earnest Money
Next, the buyer will submit earnest money to either a real estate agent or the closing agent, which essentially assures the seller that the buyer is serious about purchasing their home.
3. The Role of the Attorney
In Georgia, a closing attorney will be in charge of closing the transaction. This is unlike most other states that have title companies handle the closing. The closing attorney will represent the buyer’s lender, but will be at service to both the seller and the buyer – explaining important documents in-depth and treating both parties fairly. During this step, the contract will be sent to the closing attorney and to the buyer’s lender, who will give the attorney a title order. After the contract is signed, the closing typically happens between 30 and 45 days later, but sometimes faster.
The closing attorney’s office must obtain some information from the buyer, the seller, and the real estate agents. The Hudson Law Firm uses a secure portal and technology that allows the parties to use their smartphones and devices to communicate and see the progress of the closing process.
4. The Home Inspection
This step is recommended by our real estate law firm for any buyers, as it helps ensure the buyer that there are no issues that were unknown to the seller. A professional inspector can be hired to thoroughly analyze the property and describe in detail problems they may have found within the home. If the inspector uncovers any significant issues, the buyer can back out of a deal during the due diligence period (under most contracts).
5. The Home Appraisal
During this step, the mortgage lender will request a property appraisal in an effort to figure out the property’s true market value. This is done by a professional appraiser and can make or break a lender’s decision to approve a loan for the buyer.
6. The Title Search
During this stage, a closing attorney is responsible for overlooking the transfer of the property while checking that all the terms of the contract are being met. As an important safety measure, the closing attorney will conduct a title search to make sure the title is free and clear of any liens on the property. Once the title search is complete, the attorney will then list conditions under which title insurance will be issued.
7. The Closing
The law firm will coordinate with both the buyer and the seller once they have been notified by the lender to schedule the closing. The lender will be responsible for informing the buyer of all the required payments, closing costs, and documents that they will need to bring to the closing.
On average, the closing can be completed in as little as one hour, pending that both parties have all the required documents (such as proper identification) with them and that all the terms in the contract are met. During this time, the attorney will provide explanations for all the documents as well as answer any questions that the buyer and seller may have. The attorney will need to be knowledgeable and experienced in order for the closing to be completed as efficiently as possible. The closing funds will be collected by and disbursed from the attorney’s trust account.
Once the closing is completed, the closing attorney will record the deed of transfer of the property in addition to the lender’s security deed. The deed will be returned to the buyer in approximately four weeks. Finally, the attorney will issue the title insurance policies.
Trust Hudson Law Firm With Your Next Real Estate Closing
Looking for the most streamlined closing process possible from a team of real estate professionals you can trust? Look no further than The Hudson Law Firm, LLC. In addition to being based in Buckhead, we have a whopping 18 closing locations across the metro Atlanta counties, including Fulton, Cobb, Forsyth, Cherokee, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Hall and Dawson. Interested in learning more? Visit our homepage or contact us today! Our specific locations are: Buckhead, Ponce City Market, Decatur, Glenridge, Marietta, East Cobb, Hapeville, Douglasville, Woodstock, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Snellville, Gainesville, Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Galleria, Kennesaw, and Roswell. In addition, we are glad to close at your realtor’s office.