Who’s Present At The House Closing

Though the house closing may be rather simple transaction that one lawyer could effectively handle it is advisable the seller and the buyer bring a lawyer at the closing to represent them. This is very important especially for low or no money down transactions for home buying.

Below are the people who are expected to be present at the house closing:

1. Seller’s Lawyer

The seller’s lawyer should be present at the closing to represent the seller’s interests. Documents that may not have been available before the closing might have to be reviewed. Often minor last-minute decisions must be made.

2. Buyer’s Lawyer

Your lawyer will have to be present for the same reasons that the seller’s lawyer attends the closing. In some states the buyer’s lawyer represents the mortgagee/lender and possibly the title company (which insures the buyer’s title to your home). In these instances the buyer’s lawyer may have to be approved by the lender and/or the title company to perform the necessary functions.

3. Seller’s Mortgagee

If the seller has a mortgage outstanding, the seller’s bank may require that its representative (perhaps it’s a lawyer) attend the closing to obtain the check from the home buyer for the amount of outstanding mortgage balance due. In some instances it may be possible to avoid having the seller’s bank’s representative present and simply have the buyer’s lawyer represent that bank and forward documents and payments to your bank at a later date.

4. Escrow Agent

This is usually an independent party, perhaps a representative of the title insurance company. Whether you’ll use an escrow agent depends on the custom in your part of the country. The escrow agent will handle all of the money and paperwork associated with the closing. The escrow agent will generally use the sales contract as a guide to assure that all the terms of the contract are adhered to, the monies are appropriately applied (e.g., to pay outstanding real estate taxes, utility bills). Sometimes a list of steps to be taken by the escrow agent, perhaps called as the escrow instructions, is prepared to summarize the escrow agent’s responsibility and the money and documents the buyer and seller must each furnish to the escrow agent. The escrow agent may arrange for the recording of documents, payment of repair or insurance costs, proration of insurance or taxes, and other matters necessary for the closing.

5. Real Estate Broker

To pick up the commission check and provide you a statement indicating the commission has been paid in full. To assist in resolving any questions or disputes between the buyer and seller concerning the condition of the property, personal property involved, or other matters.

6. Title Insurance Company

A representative may be present to provide the buyer with the title insurance binder, to clear up any title exceptions, and to collect the payment due to the title company.

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