+ Certified Funds
South Carolina law requires that “good funds” be used in real estate transactions, which means that all monies must be immediately collected. This means anyone who brings money to a closing, whether the buyer, seller, or mortgage lender, must provide a certified check or have their funds wired to our escrow account prior to closing.
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! The buyer and seller come together with the attorney. The buyer signs all the lender’s forms, the seller signs the Deed and other required documents, and the attorney collects and disburses all the funds to the seller and other parties.
+ Closing Attorney
In South Carolina, closing a real estate transaction constitutes the practice of law and therefore requires the presence of a licensed attorney. The role of the closing attorney is to examine the title to the property, prepare the closing documents, perform the closing, collect and disburse funds, and record the Deed, Mortgage, and other documents at the County office.
The agreement whereby the buyer has agreed to purchase and the seller has agreed to sell the property. The Contract contains all the terms relevant to the transaction: sales price, amount of Earnest Money, division of closing costs between buyer and seller, Closing date, and any items (such as repairs) to be completed prior to Closing.
This is the document transferring ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. It is recorded at the County office and becomes a link in the chain of title. There are three ways to hold title: as a sole owner, as tenants in common, and as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. When two or more people are the owners of property, it’s usually as tenants in common, which means that each person may dispose of his or her interest in the property as he or she sees fit, without the permission of the other party. In other words, if John and Mary are tenants in common, John could sell his half to a third party or could leave his half in his will to whomever he chooses, without Mary’s consent. On the other hand, if title is held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the signature of both John and Mary is required for John to transfer his ownership interest in the property. Also, upon John’s death, his half of the property would not pass through his probate estate, but would pass directly to Mary, despite any directions to the contrary in John’s will.
+ Deed Stamps
Also known as documentary stamps or transfer taxes. When you sell property in South Carolina, you must pay a transfer tax, a portion of which is allocated to the County where the property is located, and a portion of which is allocated to the State of South Carolina. The deed stamp fee is calculated at $3.70 per thousand dollars of the sales price; thus, a sales price of $100,000 will generate deed stamp fees of $103.90. Your contract will determine which party is responsible for the payment of these fees.
+ Earnest Money
The money paid by the buyer at the signing of the contract to hold the property. This is generally held by a real estate agent or the seller, if no agent is involved, and will be applied as a credit against the sales price at closing.
+ Escrow Account
An account (usually required by the lender), administered by the lender, used to pay the buyer’s property taxes, hazard insurance, and private mortgage insurance (PMI), if any. In other words, the buyer’s monthly payment will include not only the loan payment, but 1/12 of the annual property taxes, 1/12 of the annual hazard insurance premium, and the monthly PMI premium. When the tax and insurance bills come due each year, the lender will pay these amounts from the escrow account.
+ Hazard Insurance
Also known as homeowner’s insurance. This is the insurance covering your home against liability and loss due to damage. Lenders require such insurance and evidence of your insurance is required prior to closing. You may elect to pay the premium directly to your agent before closing, or we will collect it from you at closing.
+ Home Inspection
A report prepared by a licensed home inspector reviewing the home’s heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement/crawl space, and basic structure. Your contract will determine whether an inspection is allowed, who is to pay for it, and whether the seller is obligated to repair any defects uncovered in the inspection.