All closings in Georgia are performed by licensed attorneys. The attorney does not represent the buyer or the seller, the closing attorney represents the lender. Most people don’t realize this, if you want to have your own attorney present you can do this but most buyers feel that this is an unnecessary expense. Usually with a cash closing the attorney is working and paid for by the buyer.
All the work and negotiations are usually completed prior to closing day. The closing package has been emailed to the lender and all that waits to be done is the explanation of the loan documentation and the signatures of the sellers and buyers. Then the package is emailed back to the lender for final approval. You will have provided and pay for the first year’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Your insurance broker will send the policy to the closing attorney. From then on an escrow account will be established by the lender to escrowed monthly insurance, and property taxes. So your monthly payment is actually broken into 3 parts: property taxes for the city/county, homeowner’s insurance, principal + interest payment to the lender. The property taxes and home owner association dues will be prorated as of the day of closing.
In Georgia we are a non-judicial foreclosure state. That means to obtain a mortgage on a home, a buyer has to waiver their rights to a court hearing if the property was to be foreclosed. Unless a waiver is signed, you will find no lender (other than a family relative) to lend the needed finance to buy the home
The buyer(s) will be asked if they would like to purchase for onetime cost “owners title insurance”. You will have already paid for the title insurance to safe guard the lender. It is cheaper to purchase this insurance now as you will have paid for a title search on the lenders policy and they can use the same search. This insurance is one that you should take… like all insurance, you will probably never need it but if you don’t have it and a claim were to arise you curse the day you elected not to buy it. Remember that a claim can be something as simple as the previous owner not paying the HOA dues, and the HOA files a lien against your home. You cannot sell your house without that lien being satisfied. Title insurance is based on the cost of the home but it is usually about the same cost as one to two hours of an attorney’s time to represent you. Rarely can a claim be resolved in 2 hours.
The time frame of a closing is about an hour but be prepared for delays. Often the attorney will be waiting for the loan company to get the package over to them and then the attorney’s staff have to prepare the final paper work and details. When the closing has been completed the package has to be email out to the lender for final approval before funding can take place.
Nothing more than your signatures and driving licenses will be required of you. Other than your funds to close you will have been informed prior to closing what amount of certified funds will be also required from you.
Make this a joyful occasion it is the start of a new adventure.