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Florida Real Estate Closing Checklist

October 12, 2018

This blog will provide you with a Florida real estate closing checklist to help you better understand what to expect during a closing. These are the basic steps that commonly take place in each Florida real estate transaction.


1. Submit Title Order


To begin the process, the buyer and seller will sign a purchase and sale contract and the buyer will make an escrow deposit. Then, the buyer’s lender or real estate agent submits a request for title to the buyer’s closing attorney. Thereafter, the buyer’s lender or real estate agent will fill out a form consisting of all the important information concerning the transaction. This will include such information as the buyer and seller names, a description of the property, the price for the property, the lender’s information, and existing mortgages.


2. The Processing


Once the closing attorney receives the request for title, the next step of the transaction commences: the processing. Most Florida real estate attorneys will begin the processing step of the transaction immediately, because they take into account the amount of time it will take to collect all the important documents from third parties. They do not want to risk delaying a closing because all of the information wasn’t in on time.

The processing step consists of requesting financial information that includes the following: current and previous taxes; loan payoff statements; surveys; homeowner association estoppel letters showing maintenance fees and assessments; inspection reports; and, evidence of hazard insurance.

In addition, the Florida real estate attorney will order a title search report from the underwriter at the title insurance company. They will also order a judgment search report from the lien search company.


3. The Title Search


During this step, the underwriter at the title insurance company will conduct an in-depth search through the public records of the county in which the property is located. The following is a list of examples of such records that are searched:

  • -Deeds
  • -Mortgages
  • -Judgments
  • -Easements
  • -Restrictive Covenants
  • -Liens
  • -Divorce Settlements


Once all of these documents are found, the underwriter will put them all together in the form of a title search report, and send them to the closing attorney.


4. Title Examination


The next step of the closing process is the title examination. This begins as soon as the closing attorney receives the title search report from the underwriter. A title commitment will be issued to the buyer from the closing attorney based on the information found in this report. After that, the closing attorney will closely look into all of the documents that were found during the title search. This is done in an effort to figure out the current status of title and to identify any issues with it.


5. Prepare Documents


After the title has been cleared by the closing attorney and both the buyer and seller are ready to begin closing the transaction, the closing attorney will prepare all the necessary documents. These documents may include the deed, bill of sale, affidavits, FIRPTA certificate (for transactions in which the seller is not a U.S. citizen), and the closing statement.

If the buyer is using a mortgage lender for the purchase, the lender will have to provide closing instructions to the closing attorney. This would include all of the lender’s charges, fees, and escrows on the settlement statement.


6. Complete the Transaction


After all of the closing documents have been approved, the parties involved will decide on a date, time, and location to close the transaction. Once this day arrives, the closing attorney will be responsible for overseeing it, providing clarification to both the buyer and seller. Once all documents are signed, the transaction will officially be complete.


Rely on Hall & Runnels for Issues Concerning Real Estate Ownership in Florida

At Hall & Runnels, we take pride in going the extra mile for all those we serve, including those who depend on us for our legal expertise regarding real estate ownership in Florida. We also specialize in environmental and land use issues, community association issues, and alternative dispute resolution. Contact us today to learn more.

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