Frequently asked questions

What should I expect at my real estate closing?
Closings typically last an hour or less and occur at one of our three locations. We also do our best to accommodate requests for out-of-office closings when our schedule allows. All of our closings are conducted by an attorney. Our goal is for you to understand and be comfortable with the documents you’re being asked to sign.

The attorney will provide a brief explanation of each document and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions prior to signing. We do our best not to overload you with unnecessary information, but we are always happy to provide more details if needed. If you need further explanation on the terms of your loan, we will be happy to facilitate communication with your loan officer. If you would like to review your documents prior to closing, please contact our office.

After signing the closing documents, you will receive copies of all documents in either paper or electronic form. All closing funds must be delivered by wire transfer.

Will I receive the keys to my new house, or the proceeds from my sale, at closing?
Buyers typically do not receive keys, and sellers typically do not receive their proceeds from the sale, immediately after signing closing documents. Why?

Due to regulations requiring “good funds” and the increased popularity of “split closings” in the Midsouth, real estate closings are typically not completed at the time the documents are signed. The buyer’s signed loan documents may need to be submitted to the lender for final approval, and our office may need to exchange closing documents with the attorney’s office representing the other party. The transaction is not complete until the documents are signed by the buyer and seller, lender funds are wired to the attorney, and the proceeds from the sale are disbursed to the seller. Though this process may be different from your previous experiences with closings, this is the new norm in the Midsouth and across the United States.

What are closing costs?
Closing costs include appraisal fees, title insurance fees, attorney fees, pre-paid interest and documentation fees.  These fees can differ for each customer due to the type of mortgage and type of property. You will receive a good faith estimate of your closing costs in advance of your closing date for your review.

What are the steps to a successful closing?

  1. Perform a title search and exam.
  2. Purchase title insurance. This cost is based on the purchase/sales price, if there is a loan then also the loan amount is a factor. There are additional endorsements and coverages available in some circumstances that require additional premiums to be paid.
  3. Perform research of the title to the property, examination of all matters disclosed in a search and preparation of a title commitment.
  4. Close on the property. Fees will include the preparation and coordination of the closing, conducting the closing, notarizing signatures, recording the documents, and providing you with copies.

What should I bring to my closing?
All signees must bring a government issued ID Card, such as your driver’s license. Some lenders require two forms of identification.

We require wire transfers for all closing funds, including down payments and closing costs (“cash to close”). You can determine the exact amount you will need for closing by contacting your lender or our office a day or two before your scheduled closing date.

What is escrow?
The term “escrow” used regularly in a real estate transaction and can have multiple meanings. “Escrow” most commonly refers to a portion of your monthly mortgage payment, typically homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, that is collected in addition to your monthly principal and interest. The lender collects payment for these items monthly and then pays the annual bills/premiums directly from the escrow account.

What is the closing attorney’s role in a real estate transaction?
The closing attorney’s job is to represent its client’s best interests in fulfilling the terms of the real estate contract. When representing a buyer, the closing attorney is responsible for ensuring that the buyer is vested with clear title to the property at closing. When the buyer is obtaining a mortgage to purchase the property, the closing attorney is also responsible for ensuring that the mortgage documents are correctly executed and that the lender has “first lien position”. When representing a seller, the closing attorney is responsible for ensuring the seller’s compliance with the contract and preparing the documents that transfer title to the buyer. If you are closing with one of our offices, we work for YOU!

Do I need a home inspection to close my transaction?
Some lenders require a home inspection before they will approve a loan. Buyers should demand an inspection, even if the property is new. Sellers, who want to repair any defects that could delay the sale may order a home inspection before they put their property on the market.