When buying or selling real estate in South Carolina, laws require that certain real estate matters are to be conducted by attorneys licensed to practice law. The Floyd Law Firm attorneys that specialize in real estate transactions are here to help you with the reporting, opinions, and certifications related to the status of titles to real estate; preparing the necessary documents affecting a title to real estate; handling real estate and mortgage loan closings; recording of documents, and the disbursement of proceeds.
We will assist you throughout the process down to the closing statement, delivery of the documents, recording of the deed, and the completion of other related paperwork.
The final settlement, or closing, is the process by which the title of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Those who are part of a closing may include the buyer, the seller, the escrow agent, the attorney (who will also be closing agent), a title company representative, the mortgage lender, and the real estate agents. Documents for the closing include the deed, promissory note, mortgage loan, and settlement statements. Your closing attorney will review and describe the details to all of the parties involved in the transaction before all of the documents are signed by the seller and purchaser.
A smooth closing requires specific actions
As a Seller, you will need to:
Prior to reaching the closing process, the buyer has the opportunity to have an inspection done soon after the initial offer has been submitted and accepted. There may be some repairs that the lenders may require before they will release the funds to finance the buyer’s purchase. This is the time to address any structural defects, building code violations, or potential safety issues. If an inspection reveals any problems, you as the seller may be responsible for fixing them, or they may be negotiated to be reflected in the price. There will need to be time to make the respective arrangements. The buyer will still have the chance to inspect the house on their final walk-through prior to the closing to ensure that the house or building is in the condition as the offer agreement stated, and they can confirm if you had the repairs completed as agreed to – or were brought about as a result of the inspection report.
Advise us as to whether you will be present at our office for the closing or whether the closing will take place via postage delivery. While pre-closing paperwork can often be managed by faxing documents, or electronically signing via email, the signing of title transfers and mortgage documents that happen at closing require ink on paper signing. If you cannot be physically present for your closing, a seller can pre-sign and give Power of Attorney to either their real estate agent or a family member or friend. If you do not reside in the area, such as can be the case for relocation or estate administration, the documents could be emailed ahead of time – then printed and signed in front of a notary. The original documents can then be delivered to the closing title company. Your legal assistant will advise you in advance of the date and time of your closing and help you. If you or one of the sellers is simply unable to attend the closing, please advise us so that we may prepare and send you a Limited Power of Attorney in advance of the closing.
Sellers also need to provide:
- The legal names and social security numbers of all of the sellers of the property
- Photo ID for each seller brought to the closing
- Copy of your deed, plat, and owner’s Title Insurance Policy
- A copy of your payoff information on any loans on the property to include: loan account number, lender’s name, lender’s address, lender’s contact telephone number, copy of most recent account statement, copy of the first page of your security deed is available
- Advance notice of any outstanding taxes, other liens on your property, or if any work has been done on the property within the last 90 days
- Non-resident sellers – please advise us so we may provide you with a seller’s affidavit for South Carolina withholding tax
- Notice whether the assets being transferred are business assets, and if they are a majority of the business assets – based on fair market value
- If you, as the seller, is a corporation, LLC, partnership, or other entity – contact our office for instructions on the documents needed for the closing
- The termite clearance letter from your termite or pest control company
- Information regarding your Home Owners Association (HOA) such as account number, name, address, and telephone number of the manager of the association
As a Buyer, you will need to:
Your legal assistant assigned to your closing will provide you with advance notification of the date and time of your closing. Please advise if you will be present at the closing or if the closing will need to take place by mailing documents. If you or one of the buyers is unable to attend the closing in person, please let us know so that we can prepare and send to you a Limited Power of Attorney in advance of the closing.
As a buyer, you should stipulate in your offer that you would like a thorough inspection. You should state the conditions of the inspection to allow time for scheduling a contingency plan in the event that there are problems or issues that were not evident or not disclosed at the time your offer was made. Contact your own potential inspector to make tentative arrangements prior to finalizing the offer agreement. It is ideal to schedule the inspection to occur as early in the buying process as possible so that there is still plenty of time to negotiate. The cost of an inspection varies depending upon the age and size of the home or building. If the inspection happens after an offer is accepted, the contract will typically provide a time frame to have inspections and the right to approve, disapprove, or negotiate any repairs.
The contract terms will determine when you can move in after the closing. Often, it can be immediately after the closing appointment. You shall receive the keys and head straight to your new home or property. In some circumstances, the seller may request 30 days or up to 60 days before occupancy after the closing.
Buyers need to provide:
- A photo ID for the closing
- Your lender’s information to include: name of bank or mortgage company, contact person name, and telephone number, your insurance agent’s contact information as well as a statement showing that the full premium has been paid and that your lender is shown as a “Loss Payee” under your policy
- Let us know if you want an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy
- Bring with you to closing the certified funds drawn on a South Carolina Bank, or wire the closing funds
- It is recommended that you have a survey performed of the property you are purchasing
At The Floyd Law Firm PC, our staff is committed to ensuring that our clients’ real estate transactions are successful, whether they are buying or selling property. It is our job to know everything that the laws governing real estate require, and to make sure that every important detail is discussed. We aim to make the closing process go as smoothly as possible for all of the parties involved.