Must an Attorney Be Present at Closing in Georgia?

Every state has its own laws regarding real estate transactions. One issue that varies from state to state is whether an attorney is required to be present at closing. In Georgia, each real estate closing must be conducted by a Georgia real estate attorney. Further, this attorney must be physically present at the closing, and he or she must maintain control of the closing process from start to finish. Below is some information on the role played by Georgia real estate attorneys in the closing process.

The attorney’s role in the closing process

The attorney who directs the real estate closing process in Georgia represents the lender, not the buyer or seller. However, although the closing attorney represents the lender in the transaction, he or she has a responsibility to all parties involved to complete the closing in an efficient manner.

The closing attorney typically explains the contents of all relevant documentation to the buyer and seller prior to signing. And although buyers and sellers are often represented by counsel during the real estate purchase and sale process, the closing attorney handles the closing alone and receives no input from other legal professionals. However, both the buyer and seller may have legal representation present at the closing.

Both federal and state law dictate the attorney’s role in the closing process. The federal law addressing this issue is the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), while Chapter 47 of the local Georgia real estate license law specifies additional state-specific requirements. Pursuant to federal and state law, Georgia real estate attorneys must do the following at closing:

  • Make sure that affidavits, deeds, and all other required documents are delivered to the appropriate people
  • Prepare the closing statement or settlement
  • Ensure all documentation is completed accurately
  • Distribute funds pursuant to the closing statement

In addition, Georgia law requires the closing attorney to prepare a statement that details all receipts and disbursements from the seller and the buyer. This detailed statement must be provided to both parties and the broker, if applicable.

Georgia Real Estate Attorneys

Are you planning on buying or selling property in Georgia? If so, when buying or selling residential or commercial property of any kind in Georgia, you should enlist the help of an experienced real estate attorney. At Klosinski Overstreet, LLP, we will assist you with all legal aspects of your residential or commercial real estate transaction. Our Georgia real estate attorneys have experience facilitating the purchase and sale of many types of properties, including single family homes, condominiums, multifamily homes, retail centers, office buildings, hotels, apartment complexes, and vacant property slated for development. Therefore, if you are planning on buying or selling residential or commercial real estate of any kind in the state of Georgia, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation.

Posted in: Real Estate