Closing Tips
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Top tips for preparing your clients
to finalize their transactions

The closing or sign-off of a real estate transaction may be delayed by a number of inadvertent missteps that can be prevented. At North American Title we want to make sure your client has a problem-free and enjoyable experience as they move through the transaction process.

Providing necessary information in advance, making sure your client has everything they need for the closing, as well as addressing unusual circumstances early in the process are all key to ensuring a smooth closing.

Here are a few tips to keep the process on track for a seamless conclusion.
 
 

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1. PREPARATION
 
  • Complete all required forms and return them to the Escrow Officer prior to closing.
  • Inform the Escrow Officer if there are any changed circumstances as soon as you know about them.
  • Make sure any special charges or invoices that must be reflected on the Closing Disclosure are provided, such as for the Survey, the Home Inspection, a Pest Inspection or other service provided as reflected in the contract.
  • In the final contract, include complete contact information for all parties, especially phone number, email and mailing address to ensure timely communications.
  • The buyers will receive the Closing Disclosure (CD) three days before the closing or sign-off. Please encourage them to review the CD immediately and compare the numbers to the Loan Estimate that was provided to them. Any discrepancies between the two documents must be addressed and resolved prior to coming to the closing.
  • Wiring instructions will never be passed through email, due to the dangers of fraud. Make sure your buyers and sellers are educated about the possibility of email fraud and advise them to contact you or the Escrow Officer directly via the original phone numbers provided to them, if they receive any instructions via email that seem contrary to agreed-upon protocols. They should never respond to a questionable email, or use the contact information on the suspicious email.

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2. THE DAY OF CLOSING OR SIGN-OFF
 
  • Remind your buyers and sellers that all parties involved in the sale or purchase of real estate must be present to sign the final documents.
  • All parties who will be signing are required to have a government-issued photo ID, such as a current U.S. driver’s license or passport.
  • North American Title requires Good Funds, such as a wire transfer, a cashier’s check or a certified check. In most states, a personal check can be used at closing for nominal amounts only. However, EACH STATE HAS SPECIFIC LIMITS REGARDING THE USE OF PERSONAL CHECKS, and this must be verified with your Escrow Officer. The remitter must be the buyer or seller. Questions about the appropriate method of transmitting funds should be directed to the Escrow Officer.

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3. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
 
  • Inability to Attend a Closing: If a signer is unable to attend the closing, arrangements must be made in advance to secure their signatures on the documents.
  • Power of Attorney (POA): If a POA will be used, that information must be provided to the title company far in advance, as the POA must be approved by the lender and the title underwriter prior to closing. There may also be additional steps required in the process to accommodate a POA.
  • Foreign-owned Real Estate: If you are representing a seller from a foreign country, please advise them to contact their CPA or tax attorney to assess their tax liability in the sale and to apply for IRS exemptions early in the process. (See www.nat.com/FIRPTA for more information)
  • 1031 Exchanges: If the buyer or seller is participating in a 1031 exchange, the title company and Escrow Officer will need the full contact information for the Qualified Intermediary (QI) who will be handling the exchange. Since the QI is standing in the shoes of the seller, in the case of a relinquished property, or in the shoes of the buyer, in the case of a replacement property, all paperwork and funds must go through the QI. (See www.nat.com/1031Exchange for more information)
 
For more information about how North American Title can assist you with your transactions, please contact your local sales representative, or find an office near you at www.nat.com/FindAnOffice.

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided as a general educational resource and is not intended to, and shall not be deemed to, constitute legal advice. For questions concerning a specific situation, please contact an attorney or insurance professional.
 
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