Real Estate Closings
Real estate closings in Florida can be challenging if you don’t have an experienced attorney on your side. There are a number of complex decisions that need to be made throughout the process.
Even straightforward property transactions sometimes take between 30 and 45 days to close because of the intricate steps that must be followed. Once the buyer and seller have finalized a purchase agreement, an initial escrow deposit is made by the buyer. After the escrow funds are deposited, the buyer’s lender (if the purchase is being financed) or real estate agent (if the purchase is a cash transaction) will seek title information from the attorney selected by the buyer.
This legal attorney processes the paperwork by ordering documents containing vital information about the property, including all relevant tax information, loan payoff statements, inspection reports, surveys, and more. The lawyer will typically order an independent title search from an insurance underwriter, who will verify that there are no encumbrances on the property. Encumbrances can include liens, divorce settlement agreements, and other contracts that could interfere with the transfer of title.
After the attorney obtains the report from the insurance underwriter, the title inspection stage begins. The lawyer then issues a title commitment to the buyer, and to the lender if necessary, based on the information in the title report. The seller will also be verified as the legal owner of the property, if this is true, and the attorney will make note of any outstanding debt on the property.
After it is determined that the title is clear, the lawyer will then draft the necessary closing documents, which will eventually be approved by both the buyer and seller. These documents typically include the deed, bill of sale, affidavits, Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) certificate, and closing statement. Ultimately, a date and time is set when both the buyer and the seller will sign the closing documents to codify the agreement. The closing attorney attends this final meeting.