Law Office of Fred Kross

Law Office of Fred P. Kross P.C.

Law Office of Fred Kross

1400 Buford HW
Suite F-1
Sugar Hill, GA 30518

Phone: 770-932-8269
Fax: 770-932-0188

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Fred KrossMany buyers and sellers often wonder what a real estate closing attorney does other than conduct the closing. The closing attorney, as the “quarterback” of the closing process, performs many time consuming tasks preparing a transaction from intake to closing.

When the title order arrives from the lender, the closing attorney first orders a municipal lien certificate, which verifies the real estate taxes and other municipal charges on the property. Insurance binders and payoffs of mortgages are also ordered.

The closing attorney is responsible for examining the title to the property. For purchases, the title is researched going back 50 years. The closing attorney carefully reviews the title examination to ensure there are no title defects; if there are any issues, the attorney will work with all parties to resolve them. Some title defects are extremely difficult to resolve. (By law, the closing attorney must provide new homebuyers with a certificate of title.)

The closing attorney also coordinates the issuance of title insurance to the lender and the new home buyer. I always recommend that buyers obtain their own title insurance policy even with the most accurate title examination; there can be hidden title defects that could derail a later sale or refinance.

As the closing day approaches, the closing attorney will coordinate with the lender for the preparation and delivery of numerous documents to be signed at closing, including the mortgage, promissory note, truth in lending disclosures, and most importantly, the Settlement Statement, the closing attorney is responsible for (among other things):

  • Payoff and discharge of mortgages
  • Payment and allocation of real estate taxes and utilities
  • Payment of realtor commissions
  • Disclosure and payment of lender fees and closing costs
  • Funding of mortgage escrow account
  • Payment of transfer taxes and recording fees
  • Payment of pre-paid interest
  • Distribution of sale proceeds

The closing attorney then conducts the closing. She will explain the numerous loan and closing documents signed by buyer and seller, collect and distributes all funds, and otherwise ensure that the closing is properly conducted. After the closing, the attorney processes the loan funding, performs a title rundown to ensure there are no changes in the title, then records the deed, mortgage and other recordable instruments.

The above is a basic transaction. With Short Sale and floclosures currently being the norm with my experience as a seasoned real estate attorney and fellow investor keep your hard work from falling apart at the closing table.