Christopher S. Nudo
What Can Both Sides Expect to Happen at A Real Estate Closing?
Every law firm handles real estate closings differently, but I’d like to think our firm handles them in the best way. We don’t permit our sellers to attend closings; we have them pre-sign all of the documentation and provide us with a power of attorney to attend the closing. This is because there’s very little for a seller to do at the closing table, and they can sometimes talk out of nervous energy and say something that will cause problems. By keeping them away from the closing table, we avoid unnecessary drama between buyers and sellers.
With regard to a closing, a seller should expect for their attorney to handle the exchange of all documentation, close the deal, and bring back a check or wire transfer of the sales proceeds from the sale of their home and/or property. It should be completely uneventful, which clients love because they don’t have to take time off of work. Clients get a call from me telling them that I have their money from the sale.
Buyers, on the other hand, need to attend closings and should expect to sign all of their mortgage documents, which we will review at the closing table. We will review all of the seller’s documents as well, including the deed, bill of sale, affidavits, title, ALTA statements, and survey. We’ll review all of the condominium or homeowner association information to ensure that everything is paid current and that the buyers are in a good place to take over where the seller has left off. Once we’ve done all of that, we wait for the title company to disburse the money as necessary between the realtors, attorneys, seller, and lender. Once that is complete, the buyer has successfully purchased the real estate.
What Needs to Be Done by Either Side Once the Transaction Has Been Completed?
Once the transaction has been completed, the seller won’t need to do anything else aside from report the sale on their income taxes. In Illinois, there are exemptions, which means a husband and wife can sell property, obtain the proceeds, and not be required to pay taxes on those proceeds as long as the proceeds are under the exemption amount. The sale of commercial or investment real estate will be accompanied by tax consequences and will have to be addressed by the Seller’s accountant.
Within three to six weeks of closing, the buyer should expect to receive the deed from the county reflecting their ownership of the real estate. They will also receive a policy for title insurance demonstrating that they are the highest and best owners of their property, and subject to taxes for the county and a few other things that are a matter of record on title.
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