How to Guide Real Estate Closings – Part II

There is a lot to gather together for a real estate transaction, but with the help of your friendly title agency, you shouldn’t have to go crazy!

The title company will need to know if this closing will be a mail away. A closing can take place without any parties actually coming to the closing. This can happen via overnight mail or email, depending on which side of the transaction you are on. If the seller is a foreign national or out of the country, the seller may need to coordinate an appointment at an Embassy for notary purposes, so the seller may need to plan ahead.

how to guide property guidingThe title company will need the seller’s loan number and social security number in order to get the payoff from the bank(s) and any other parties that money might be owed too. Sometimes a copy of the last mortgage statement can be provided. The title company will also need the social security numbers from all parties in title to the property. This is an IRS requirement for reporting a 1099 sale transaction. Please keep in mind that this is a requirement by the time the transaction closes.

The title agency will order a municipal lien search. This search varies from city to city and county to county. This will list open permits, which are NOT covered by title insurance, code violations, liens for code enforcement actions, and any outstanding water or tax bills. The title company is concerned only with items that will effect title.

If there is an Association to deal with in the transaction, whether home owners or condo, the title company will order an estoppel letter from the management company or association immediately. The seller pays for this estoppel. The turn around time may take up to 30 days, and an application and approval may be needed before closing, so plan the closing date accordingly. The estoppel letter will include information regarding maintenance dues, fees that are both paid and unpaid and any special assessments.  Be aware that an association may deny approval to a buyer, so make sure these items are taken into consideration when applying to association for your transaction.

A survey and elevation certificate will also be ordered by the title company if the buyer is getting a mortgage. A survey will reveal easements, setbacks, encroachments of fixed objects (like a pool, a roof, fence, shed, etc), and a water line or well.  Sometimes a buyer can use the seller’s old survey, if there have been no changes made. Some other requirements may be made by the title company on an existing survey so be sure to ask. The buyer’s insurance company will determine whether an elevation certificate may be needed for the transaction.

Look for part III next week.

Call one of our professionals to give you a more detailed explanation @ 415-6574 or email

You can always visit us at for services offered.

Posted on October 5, 2012, in Title and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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