When buying a home in North Carolina, an attorney must conduct your closing. The responsibilities of N.C. real estate attorney vary depending on the type of transaction. If a lender is involved, that dictates some of the role as well. If you are preparing to purchase a home, here are some things you should know about what your closing attorney must do.

Responsibilities Begin with an Executed Contract

Once the buyer and seller have a fully executed contract, a N.C. real estate attorney is hired. The first step for the firm is a title search. The search looks for deeds of trust, judgments, past due taxes, and any other information that could affect the property. This step is essential to ensure there are no issues related to the ownership of the property.

Once the search is complete, an attorney reviews all the documentation to determine if there is anything to report to the buyer or seller.

Writing the Opinion

Next, an attorney will write an opinion of title and submit it to the title insurance company. Opinions disclose who owns the property, whether the taxes have been paid, and if there are any liens or judgments against the property. The opinion also addresses access to the property, public or private, as well as easements or restrictive covenants. In N.C., providing an opinion of title is a practice of law, therefore, only a licensed N.C. real estate attorney can do this.

Upon receipt of the preliminary title option, title companies issue a binder. The lender also receives a copy of the binder for review. If the lender has no concerns, then the loan will continue through its process.

Loan Documents

If the lender has no issues with the title binder, the loan package is sent to the closing firm. It will contain all the necessary seller documents. The loan will then be ready to settle. The settlement includes executing all final paperwork to transfer ownership as well as complete the new loan for the buyer.

Post-Settlement Duties

After the settlement, the firm sends the signed loan documents to the lender. Then they record the deed and deed of trust with the Register of Deeds office. Additionally, they handle the disbursement of proceeds and, pay off liens on the property. Finally, they record costs, lender fees, repairs, and commissions to agents.

Final Title Opinion

After recording the proper documents to convey the title as the parties intended, a N.C. real estate attorney issues a final title opinion and title insurance premium to the title company, addressing the requirements included in the title binder. The title company issues the final title policy and sends it to the buyer and to the lender.

These duties are critical to the proper closing of your property. Be sure you choose an experienced attorney to handle your closing. At Moore & Alphin, we’ve been working with Raleigh residents since 2000 to make the dream of homeownership a reality. If you’d like to know more about the firm’s services, please get in touch.