Frequently Asked Residential Real Estate Questions


What is the best way to schedule a closing?

Our office will work with you to schedule a closing time that accommodates as many schedules as possible. Please give us a call to discuss this if you have any questions or concerns.


While we make every effort to accommodate requests, there are certain constraints. Lenders normally require recording on the same day as the signing, if at all possible. Each county recording office has its own cut-off time in late afternoon when it stops taking documents for recording. If a closing is scheduled too late in the day recording will be delayed until the next day and may not meet lender requirements.


Can we schedule a closing outside regular business hours?

We have found that closing outside regular office hours is not advisable. It is often very difficult, if not impossible, to resolve any unexpected issues because other parties, such as lenders, may not be available at such times. In addition, many lenders require that the documents be recorded on the same day as the sale and Court Houses are not open to record outside of business hours.  Please feel free to contact us if you have specific circumstances that you would like to discuss. 


Frequent Real Estate BUYER questions:


How does your office handle earnest money?

Our office has a strict policy requiring the earnest money be brought to closing payable to our trust account in order to be disbursed with all other funds needed for closing. As settlement agent we are required and held accountable by federal law to certify that any monies shown on the closing statement are true and accurate. Unless we actually receive the earnest money we cannot certify that such earnest money exists.


How do we bring the necessary funds to the closing?

North Carolina State Bar rules and North Carolina law require that we work with “good funds”, i.e. collected funds. Checks, even when they are bank checks or certified checks, require time to clear the banking system and banks often put a “hold” on them for large amounts. For those reasons, we require that funds needed for closing be wired to our trust account. Wiring instructions will be provided at the appropriate time.


What about repair and inspection invoices?

If any repair and/or inspection invoices are to be paid from the closing we need to have them at least 10 days in advance of the closing. Such invoices need to include the name and mailing address of the party to be paid. This lead time was less but did increase substantially when new federal regulations went into effect on October 3, 2015.


Can I move into the house right after I sign the closing papers?

Since the closing is not complete until the closing documents are recorded with the appropriate County Court House the buyer is not entitled to possession of the property until such recording is completed. We always do our best to make the recording happen as soon as reasonably possible after all documents are signed. Keep this in mind when scheduling the closing (see first question above).


Frequent Real Estate SELLER questions:


Can the net proceeds from a sale or refinancing be wired out?

The net proceeds can be wired out provided that we receive a written request, including complete and accurate wiring instructions, at least 10 days in advance of the closing. An administrative fee will be charged. This lead time did increase substantially when new federal regulations went into effect on October 3, 2015.


When will I get the proceeds for the property I just sold?

North Carolina law requires that the closing be complete before we can disburse funds. Keep in mind that the closing is not complete until the closing documents are recorded at the appropriate County Court House. We always do our best to make the recording happen as soon as reasonably possible after all documents are signed. Keep this in mind when scheduling the closing (see first question above).


Can I sell one property and use the proceeds to buy another one right after that?

While selling one property and immediately using the proceeds to buy another property is legal, it has always been risky from a practical viewpoint. Despite best efforts on our part to meet the necessary deadlines, in our experience such tight scheduling has been problematic because often lenders and other parties are unable to deliver on their originally promised schedules. If anything goes wrong or gets delayed on the first transaction, everything after that in the chain of transactions gets thrown off schedule which can cause a lot of inconvenience, such as having to change moving days. We recommend at least 24 hours between transactions.

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