We’ve compiled this resource list of common questions that buyers and sellers may have about their real estate transaction. Don't hestitate to contact us if you have more questions. The Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorneys Association has also put together a good resource for home buyers in Georgia at their page, "Buying a home in Georgia."

 

Do I need title insurance? 

There are two primary types of title insurance: lenders’ title insurance and owners’ title insurance. Typically, lenders require the lenders’ title insurance in order to protect their interest in the property. Owners’ title insurance protects the purchaser’s property interest to cover losses if the title to the property is questioned. Even when a title examination is done, there are some problems with title that cannot be discovered by a title examination, and the one-time premium of the owners’ title insurance can help protect the title. 

 

What do I need to bring to closing?

We have compiled a list of what the buyer, seller, and real estate agent need to bring to closing.

 

Where is the old HUD-1 statement I saw last time I closed?

As of October 3, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s guidelines went into effect, affecting, among other things, the required forms in a closing. The older HUD-1 Settlement Statement is no longer the form—look for the Closing Disclosure instead. The CFPB offers a clear explanation of the Closing Disclosure. This new form still discloses all the pertinent facts about your loan. 

 

Why didn’t I receive a Good Faith Estimate from my lender?

As of October 3, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s guidelines went into effect, affecting, among other things, certain disclosures in a closing. The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is no longer required, but borrowers will receive a Loan Estimate form. The CFPB provides information about the new Loan Estimate form

 

Do I need an attorney to do my closing?

This question really incorporates two questions. First, at a real estate closing, the attorney present represents the lender, not the buyer or seller. So if you want an attorney to represent your interests at the closing, you are free to hire your own attorney. Second, a real estate closing in Georgia must have an attorney present. Non-attorneys are not permitted under the law to conduct closings. (There are a few exceptions, such as a bank employee conducting the bank’s own closing.) There are some companies that have offered so-called “witness-only closings,” but those types of closings, which are not fully conducted under an attorney’s supervision, do not comply with the law.