Residential Real Estate Closings in South Carolina
For most individuals, buying a home is the single largest purchase they will make in their lifetime. While typically a happy moment, a home closing can become complicated and contentious. Our real estate team at Hopkins Law Firm, LLC understands the anxiety that oftentimes accompanies such transactions and will always work to make the process as seamless and pleasurable as possible. It is important to understand the process and your rights before you attend a residential real estate closing in South Carolina. Thankfully, Clay Hopkins and Shellie Todd will guide you through the entire closing process. They have years of combined legal experience closing thousands of residential real estate transactions across South Carolina. Closing with an experienced law firm that focuses on real estate law minimizes any number of potential problems that may arise.
South Carolina's Real Estate Closing Process
The South Carolina coast is appealing to full-time and part-time residents, as well as commercial investors. South Carolina's real estate closings may look differently from closings you have experienced in other states. For example, South Carolina does not require a full home inspection but does insist on a termite inspection.
And, unlike most states, a lawyer must oversee all real estate closings in South Carolina. According to South Carolina law, a lawyer must help the buyer and seller:
- Resolve any title issues (such as liens, judgments, unpaid taxes, or mortgage debts),
- Detail any easements and right-of-ways that allow others access to the property,
- Sign a series of documents (required by state law),
- File these documents with the appropriate governmental entity, and
- Make payments in compliance with the purchase agreement.
This is not a simple process. Thankfully, a dedicated South Carolina real estate closing attorney from our firm will carefully review your closing documents to ensure that there are no red flags and help you understand all of the terms of your agreement. We will assist you with the contract signing through the closing.
A dedicated South Carolina real estate closing attorney from our firm will carefully review your closing documents to ensure that there are no red flags and help you understand all of the terms of your agreement.
Why Does South Carolina Require a Lawyer at Real Estate Closings?
At a closing, both the buyer and the seller typically sit at one table and sign a series of legal documents. (Remote closings are also possible if one party lives out-of-state or cannot attend in person.) These documents detail the transfer of title, property tax allocations, and other important terms of sale. One mistake could negatively impact your life and financial well-being for years. In such situations, you should consult a South Carolina real estate attorney.
Unfortunately, real estate closing documents are not written in plain English. Instead, they are frequently lengthy and contain technical and legal language — making it very difficult for the average person to understand their rights and obligations. It is never in your best interest to sign a contract or other legal document that you do not understand.
For this reason, South Carolina law insists that a lawyer guide you through your South Carolina real estate closing. The lawyer must ensure that both the buyer and the seller understand the terms and conditions of the sale. The lawyer will also explain any state and county real estate laws that apply to the transaction. A lawyer can only represent one party at your closing but the law does allow your lawyer to prepare the required legal documents for the seller. Some sellers chose to have their own lawyer.
Common Issues with Residential Real Estate Closings
Unfortunately, buyers and sellers do not always agree on the purchase agreement terms. When a dispute arises, delays and litigation can happen. Conflicts that commonly occur in residential real estate transactions include the following:
- What items are included in the real estate sale
- Whether repairs need to be made to the property
- When possession of the property will occur, and
- Issues related to land use and zoning
- Mortgage considerations, like locking in your interest rate or when your rate expires
- Can you fit your closing into your work schedule
- When can you move into your new home
Most residential closings are actually two closings. You'll be closing on the purchase of real estate, and you'll be closing on the mortgage loan you are taking to buy that real estate. All that paperwork will have to do with one or the other. Some documents are common to most closings, and other documents will be unique to your area or situation.
After you have signed all the documents required by your lender and attorney, your attorney will then obtain the Deed from the Seller's attorney. We then do a final check on the title of the property and record both the Deed and Mortgage on your behalf. Once recorded the house is yours! We then disburse all funds on your behalf to the seller and other parties whose invoices were listed on the settlement statement. Smile! Now you get the keys!
Speak with an Experienced South Carolina Real Estate Attorney
Hopkins Law Firm has handled a substantial amount of real estate closings, and is extremely well-versed in preparing for and executing closings. Let our experienced real estate team take the worry and stress off of your shoulders by handling your closing in the most expedient, professional way possible.
All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about our firm, our services and the experience of our attorneys. Communication by or through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice.