What is a Real Estate Closing?
In Georgia, the Closing — or settlement or escrow — is essentially a meeting where the closing attorney (the party who conducts settlement) takes in money from the buyers, pays out money to the owner and all other parties.
All papers have been prepared by closing attorney, lenders and lawyers. This paperwork reflects the sale agreement and allows all parties to the transaction to verify their interests. For instance, buyers get the title to the property, lenders have their loans recorded in the public records and state governments collect their transfer taxes.
The closing attorney reviews the sale agreement to determine what payments and credits the owner should receive and what amounts are due from the buyer. The closing attorney also assures that certain transaction costs are paid (taxes and title searches).
Closing is also the time when “adjustments” will be made. For instance, suppose you’ve pre-paid taxes four months in advance. In this case, the closing attorney will compensate you for the prepayment at closing by having the buyer pay you additional money.
It could also work in reverse. If you are behind on property taxes, the closing agent will reduce the money due to you at settlement by the amount of the unpaid taxes.
A CENTURY 21 Larry Miller real estate professional attends the closing with you.
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