Fairly urgent--attorney needed when selling from another state?

odyssey3June 12, 2012

Hi all,

The good news, if any of you remember, is that the contingent contract for sale on my house is about to go through!! We live in the DC area and are set to close on our house in SC on the 26th of this month. Our realtor said the "closing attorney" (not sure who pays for this--us? buyers? We don't know who this is and had no part in picking him) in SC will not release any paperwork or the proceeds of the sale to us directly. He said he will only send things to another attorney. My realtor is saying he wants to make sure signatures are properly notarized by a witness and that the proper ID is used. Well, this is what a notary does, why must it be an attorney? So, I have these questions:

1) How important is it for us to have an attorney if there already is a closing attorney? I can't see paying hundreds of dollars for an attorney's office to notarize our signatures and receive the house proceeds. Also, no attorney in DC is willing to get involved with a SC contract since they aren't licensed in SC. We would have to find a SC attorney and they can't notarize our signatures anyway.

2) Can this closing attorney force us to have an attorney? Our realtor is saying he will not release any money to us directly. How is that his call? If we appear in person, then we don't have to have an attorney according to him.

My realtor is so useless she is no help on these issues. She just tells me "those are his rules." Ugh Thanks for any help. We are so close to being done!!!

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Call the attorney and find out why this is the case.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 7:10PM
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I don't even know who this attorney is. I don't even have a name. I told my realtor I'd like to talk to him this afternoon and haven't heard back from her yet. All our communication is by e-mail.

I have been trying to do research online and apparently in SC the closing attorney represents the lender but is chosen by the buyer. Sellers have no say.

Requiring something over and above a regular notary seems ridiculous though.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 7:41PM
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My realtor just sent the following:
"All attorney there needs to do is receive package, get copy of drivers license, and notarized. It can be any one in his office, doesn't have to be him"

So the closing attorney just wants an attorney's office with a "ups store" service. Still no name from her. I've asked again.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Hmmmmm..... So your agent sent you that info, but did not provide the name of the attorney....This is information that should be provided to you immediately. Call her and ask again. If she does not provide the name and contact info call her broker. I was previously an agent and not providing you with this info is beyond ridiculous.

I suspect there is another piece to this that has not yet been told to you. My guess is that is has to do with when you will receive the proceeds from the sale. Sorry...

This maybe a requirement of the lender. The lender has a stake in seeing that the property is transferred correctly. I have run into that scenario in the past, but it would be very unusual that a lender would demand you close with an attorney.

The only other thing I can think of is some sort of title insurance requirement. Is the closing attorney doing the title work? Even if there is some specific requirement by the title insurance company on how the closing will occur, title insurance companies typically provide several means of meeting those requirements. They do need to make sure everything is properly signed and notarized.

The other thing might be this: perhaps the closing attorney wants to send your check in the same set of documents, but wants it held by another attorney until he/she gets the okay to release the funds to you. The way around that is to have him/her wire the funds to your account after closing or to simply send the check later.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 6:40AM
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