What can you expect at a North Carolina real estate closing?


North Carolina requires a real estate attorney to prepare the closing documents for a home purchase, although they do not have to attend the meeting. One of their associates may conduct the session, obtain the required signatures and distribute funds to the appropriate accounts. Attorneys for buyers and sellers and their real estate agents may also attend. The closing is likely to occur in the office of the closing attorney.

Attorney’s preparations

The closing attorney has several duties to fulfill. First, they must search the property records for defects in the title and verify that the seller has the legal right to transfer ownership of the property. After that, the attorney submits their legal opinion of title to the title insurance company. Next, if a mortgage lien remains on the property, the attorney notifies the seller’s lender, who sends the pay-off documents to the attorney. Finally, the attorney prepares all the documents for signing.

Buyer’s responsibilities

If the buyer has a mortgage loan, they have a stack of lending disclosures the closing agent explains before signing. This process can take a considerable length of time. The agent also explains the closing disclosure document, which itemizes the debits and credits to the seller and buyer. The buyer’s debits may include the purchase price, title insurance fees, loan origination fee, closing attorney fee and any advance HOA, property insurance and property tax payments.

Seller’s responsibilities

After the buyer signs the closing disclosure, the seller signs the document that shows the purchase price as a credit to the seller and the loan pay-off and real estate commission as a debit. Once this step finishes, the seller signs the deed, the legal instrument that transfers ownership to the buyers. After the closing, the attorney’s office submits the deed to the courthouse for recording.

Transfer of funds

Once all parties sign the appropriate documents, money transfers. The seller’s mortgage company receives the funds to satisfy the outstanding mortgage loan, and the seller receives the remaining purchase money as a check or wire transfer from the attorney’s escrow account. The real estate agents accept their brokerage firms commission checks, the seller gives the buyer the house keys, and the transaction concludes.