Do I need a to use a closing attorney or a title company in Georgia when purchasing/selling a property?

In residential closings involving Georgia property, attorneys handle the closings and issue title policies.
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Q&A — What is a title company's responsibility in closing in Georgia?

Q&A — What is a title company's responsibility in closing in Georgia?


Today’s question is, “What is a title company’s responsibility in a closing in Georgia?”

Because residential closings in Georgia are handled by attorneys, it is first important to determine who the attorney represents. It is customary for the closing attorney to represent the lender providing financing. However, sometimes the purchase and sale agreement will contain a recital stating who the attorney represents in the absence of lender financing. Regardless of the party represented in a residential closing, a Georgia attorney still owes certain duties to all parties in the transaction. Those duties include:

Closing the transaction per the terms of the sales contract.
Complying with applicable State and Federal laws.
Following lender escrow instructions (if a loan is involved).
Holding and disbursing escrow items including documents and money.
Preparing the conveyancing instruments and other closing documents.
Supervising document execution as well as the entire closing process.
Recording the documents with the proper clerk of court’s office.
Conducting title exams, issuing title commitments and final title policies.

This is an abbreviated list from the Residential Real Estate Closing Procedure Standards, as published by the State Bar of Georgia, Real Property Law Section, Ethics Committee.

CHRIS PAHL
Real Estate Attorney
3575 Piedmont Road NE
Building 15, Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30305

Tel. +1 (404) 476-3736
email:
chris@GeorgiaTitle.com
web:
GeorgiaTitle.com | GetMyGFE.com

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Take Caution with Quitclaim Deeds

Quitclaim deeds may void title coverage. Read More...
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Use of GAR Purchase Sale Agreement by Non Realtors

Q: Can I use the GAR Purchase and Sale Agreement if I am not a licensed real estate agent.


A: Yes and no. The Georgia Association of Realtors claims a copyright on their published forms. Forms may be used upon payment of a licensing fee, or in a transaction handled by someone who is licensed to use the forms, such as a real estate agent on the other side of the transaction.

If you are not working with a Georgia licensed real estate agent and need a purchase and sales agreement form, you have some options. You may contact a real estate attorney who can draft the contract for you. As a real estate attorney practitioner, I would advise against using boilerplate contracts that are not written for Georgia properties. Those types of agreements occasionally make their way to our offices and they often contain errors, defects or omissions. Invariably this leads to a completely unnecessary renegotiation of the terms. Some people may choose to simply obtain a copy of the GAR form and use that. I would caution against this for a few reasons, beside the fact that this would violate the licensing terms for use of the form. First, the GAR form is designed to be used with a host of other templates forms that are not available unless you are a licensee to the form package. Second, the GAR form is not the best form out there. It is better to have a contract custom drafted for the situation and this is not always as neutral the GAR form attempts to be. Best option is to contact a real estate attorney.


CHRIS PAHL
Real Estate Attorney
3575 Piedmont Road NE
Building 15, Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30305

Tel. +1 (404) 476-3736
email:
chris@GeorgiaTitle.com
web:
GeorgiaTitle.com | GetMyGFE.com

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Tenants in Common in Georgia

Tenancy in Common in Georgia
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