Real Estate F.A.Q.

Q: Do I need an attorney for my closing?

A: The South Carolina Supreme Court has repeatedly held that conducting a real estate closing is the practice of law. In South Carolina, any reputable mortgage lender will require that an attorney licensed in South Carolina conduct the closing. In fact, it is a violation of South Carolina law if the lender fails to ask you which attorney you would like to use for your closing. In our experience, the only lenders who will attempt to dissuade you from using an attorney licensed in South Carolina are unscrupulous lenders who attempt to have borrowers sign documents with disadvantageous terms.

Q: Can I, as the buyer, select the attorney of my choice for my closing?

A: Absolutely. If you are buying the property or refinancing your loan, you are paying the closing attorney. You should not allow yourself to be pressured to use a certain attorney. After all, this is your real estate transaction.

You should also be aware that many homebuilders offer to pay a portion of your closing costs if you use an attorney or lender they select. While many of those attorneys do an excellent job, many others are selected because they will do things the way the homebuilder wants them done, not the way the law requires them to be done. We are aware of large homebuilders who have directed transactions to close with title defects such as unpaid taxes. You should choose a closing attorney who will represent your interests, not one who is trying to make someone else happy. Any money you save at closing may be lost many times over years down the road.

Q: Why should I select Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A. to represent me in my closing?

A: Our office has over thirty years experience closing real estate transactions that range from residential to commercial, large to small. Closings happen on time, and are conducted in a relaxed environment. We explain all the documents you are signing in a simple, straightforward manner. We are here to effectively represent you and will never close a transaction when your interests will be prejudiced by doing so. Moreover, our fees are highly competitive and almost always lower than those charged by other attorneys in the area, and we do not use gimmicks like increasing fees and then discounting them by issuing coupons.

Q: What do I need to bring to closing?

A: You will need to bring current (not expired) government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, passport, or military ID. If you are the buyer, your funds must be in the form of a wire transfer.

Q: I am married. Must both my spouse and I attend closing?

A: It depends. Any person with an ownership interest in the property (that is, an owner, or someone with another interest like a life estate, for example) must attend the closing. This applies even if the person has an ownership interest but will not be a borrower on the mortgage note. The rule is that all owners must attend closing. Consequently, a spouse without any ownership interest will not need to attend the closing.

Q: I have given someone a power of attorney. Will that work for closing?

A: We will need to review the form you have executed to ensure that it complies with South Carolina law. Different states have different requirements for powers of attorney to be effective as well as different recording requirements. What works in one state will not necessarily work in another. For your peace of mind and convenience, you may want to have our firm prepare the power of attorney to ensure it will meet the requirements of South Carolina law.