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Defining the Players in a Real Estate Transaction (Part 2 of 2)

Defining the Players in a Real Estate Transaction (Part 2 of 2)

As we introduced in Lee’s Last Living in ATL Blog post, there can be as many as a dozen professionals involved with any one real estate transactions. Read on as we define the remaining ones, and if you missed the last one, click here.

Title Company

The Title Company searches title and provides it to the Seller’s attorney to either clear, request more information, or provide insurance over certain defects.  The title company is the location where the closing usually takes place, and the company provides a “closer” to facilitate the closing between all the parties.  The title company will provide the insurance underwriting company to insure title issues on behalf of the Buyer.

The “Closer”

The employee of a title company who facilitates the closing is referred to as the “closer.”

The Closer will usually:

  • collect all figures from the Seller’s attorney, Buyer’s attorney, lender and title company, and issue a document compiling the same in what is typically referred to as a HUD-1, RESPA or Settlement Statement.
  • collect all funds at the closing and issue checks as per the final Settlement Statement
  • coordinates with the Buyer’s lender and fulfill any requirements they demand at closing;
  • send for recording any pertinent documents including the Deed, Release of Mortgage, and etc.
  • ensure all documents are collected to clear certain exceptions raised in the title commitment.

The Home Inspector

The Buyer can usually obtain as many inspections of the property as they want but within a certain time frame. This vetting of the property is a necessary process and one that will allow the Buyer to make a more informed decision about whether the property is worth the purchase price.  The home inspector is hired by the Buyer to inspect and to inform the Buyer of the physical condition of and defects with the property.

The Appraiser

An appraiser is licensed by the State to assess properties and determine a subjective valuation based on a number of criteria. Location, upgrades and improvements, and recent sale prices of similar, nearby homes (commonly referred to as COMPS).
Typically, the Seller will not hire an appraiser when marketing the property for sale as the real estate agent is able to give the Seller a fair market analysis in lieu of an appraisal report.

An appraiser is more often hired by the Buyer’s lender to determine whether the condition of the home supports the agreed upon purchased price.  In general, a lender will not approve a real estate Buyer’s loan in the event that the appraisal value is
(significantly) less than the contract purchase price.

Should you have any questions about the professionals that make up the real estate transactions, please do not hesitate to contact Lee. And as always, if you are thinking of buying or selling, he would love to be by your side.

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