Closings – Refinances & Purchases

Ragsdale Liggett PLLC performs thousands of refinance and purchase closings annually and provides individual attention to every file. We handle transactions in many counties throughout North Carolina.

For your convenience, the following are answers to our most frequently asked questions: 

How do I retain your firm to assist with my transaction?
Call or email us to get started. You may also have your real estate broker contact us. We will send an engagement letter and information form for you to complete. Please return it to us as soon as possible, and we will open your file. If you are purchasing property from a builder, then your builder’s closing coordinator will provide us with the necessary information required to get started. 

Who is the contact person for my closing?
Your transaction is assigned to a specific paralegal and lawyer who will work closely with you throughout the transaction. If you have been referred to our firm by a builder, real estate agent, or mortgage broker or lender, they will typically tell you the name of your contact person. In the event that you have not been referred to our office, please call Bob Ramseur or Ashleigh Black at 919/881-2207.

What should I bring to closing?
Two forms of identification, including one with a photo (a driver’s license or passport).

  • If you are married, bring your spouse. This is required even if the loan is only in your name, unless you speak with a lawyer beforehand about an exception.
  • Your funds to close (see below for more information).

Why do I have to bring my spouse to closing if my spouse is not a borrower?
If you are borrowing money to purchase real estate and your spouse is going to be an owner of the property, your spouse must be at closing to sign the deed of trust regardless of whether the spouse is a borrower. Even if you are borrowing money to purchase real estate and your spouse is NOT going to be an owner of the property, most lenders want the spouse to sign at least the deed of trust and Truth-In-Lending document at closing.

If you are refinancing, your spouse must be at closing to sign the deed of trust regardless of whether your spouse is a borrower.

What if my spouse and/or I cannot be at closing?
In the event that you and/or your spouse cannot attend closing, please contact your lender immediately. You may be able to execute the documents with the assistance of a power of attorney, but the power of attorney must be approved by your lender.  Please have your lender contact us regarding their requirements for the preparation of the power of attorney as requirements vary lender to lender.  Make sure that you allow sufficient time for us to prepare and deliver the power of attorney. The person who will not attend the closing must execute the power of attorney before a Notary Public and return the original to our attention so that it can be recorded.  Our fee for drafting a power of attorney is $125.00, and the recording fee is $26.00. These fees will be added to the settlement statement at your closing.

May I write a personal check for the funds to close?
If the funds required to close are less than $500.00, we will accept a personal check.  All funds due at closing over $500.00 must be delivered to our office in the form of a wire transfer or a certified bank check made payable to “Ragsdale Liggett PLLC Trust Account.”  You may bring your certified funds after closing if you can not obtain the final funds amount from our office or your lender prior to the closing.  In addition, you may have your closing funds wired; however, please note that we cannot predict when your wired funds will be deposited into our account.

When will I receive my settlement statement that tells me what funds I will need to close?
We cannot prepare the Settlement Statement until we receive your loan package from the lender.  Until that time, we will be unable to provide you with the dollar amount of funds needed to close.  As soon as we have the settlement statement prepared and approved by your lender, we will email or fax a copy of the Settlement Statement to you.  If we do not receive your loan package at least twenty-four hours prior to closing, we may charge you a “late package fee” of $100.00 on the Settlement Statement.  Please stay in touch with your lender prior to your closing and remind them of the twenty-four hour requirement.

Should I get a survey?
If you are purchasing property, we strongly recommend that you have a survey performed.  As your lawyers, we do not physically inspect the property and are unable to make any representation regarding the structural integrity of any improvements to the real property, any representations regarding any impairments that may been shown only by a survey nor any representations as to whether the property lies within a flood plain.  A survey will reveal the existence of boundary overlaps, gaps, gores or encroachments affecting the real property and whether the real property lies within a flood plain.  A new survey will allow your title insurance company to offer you survey coverage on your policy of title insurance.

When will I get my keys?
The standard Offer to Purchase and Contract and most other contracts to purchase require the Seller to provide keys to the Purchaser only after all of the following has been completed:

  • All documents have been signed at closing,
  • The lender has issued funding authorization,
  • All funds have been received by our office (including lender funds and buyer’s funds to close),
  • Our office has updated title to the property, and
  • Our office has recorded the deed, and, if applicable, deed of trust and its riders with the Register of Deeds.

Our office cannot update title and record the documents until ALL funds to close are in our trust account.

While a seller may provide keys to you at the closing table, it is likely that they will wait until all of the closing steps have been completed.  For that reason, you should not assume that you will receive the keys until the end of the day.  Please be mindful of this when scheduling your movers, painters or deliveries.

How does the “closing” work?
Closing is the eagerly anticipated culmination of your real estate transaction and lasts approximately 30-45 minutes.  The buyer, seller, real estate agents and lender will meet at our office to execute the documents required to properly close the transaction.  The buyer and seller, if applicable, remit any funds due, and the lawyer disburses the funds as set out on the settlement statement.

Following is a list of the documents that a buyer signs at a typical closing where the buyer obtains a loan:

HUD-1 Settlement Statement: Sets out all receipts and disbursements made by, on behalf of, or to the buyer and seller in the transaction.

Promissory Note: Outlines the material terms of the loan including interest rate, term, maturity date, principal and interest payment amount and late penalty.

Deed of Trust: Secures the property as collateral for the loan.

Affidavits: Where applicable, the buyer executes sworn statements relating to:

  • Occupancy of the property
  • Current employment and income
  • Name variations or “aliases”
  • The non-existence of secondary financing
  • Truth and accuracy of all information supplied to the lender

Disclosures and Acknowledgements: Where applicable, the buyer signs the following disclosures and acknowledgements:

  • Acknowledgement that a default in payment of the loan could result in a foreclosure
  • Disclosure of the Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”) as reflected in the Truth In Lending Disclosure Statement or “TIL”
  • Disclosure of projected escrow account activity for one year
  • Acknowledgement that property is or is not located within a flood zone
  • Acknowledgement of receipt and review of a termite report
  • Acknowledgement of receipt and review of a survey
  • Disclosure of information relating to lender’s history of servicing/transferring loans.

Loan Application: standard form which reflects the income, assets, debts and other pertinent information used to qualify borrower for the loan.

IRS form W-9: verifies the borrower’s social security number for the reporting of payment of interest to the IRS.

IRS form 4506: authorizes the lender to obtain information from the IRS to verify information on application form.

First payment letter: shows the total payment amount, date of first payment and information regarding where to remit payment.

You will receive a signed copy of all of the closing documents that you should keep in a secure location, such as a safety deposit box.

Who will check the title to my new property?
We will conduct a thorough title search on your property to determine that the title is marketable and free and clear of any and all liens and encumbrances. The fee for the title examination is included in our fee that we collect at closing. If the title to the property contains a problem or defect, a lawyer will contact you to discuss it and offer suggestions as to how to resolve the issue.