Real Estate Agent Ethics

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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.

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