Q. If there are any special circumstances in a real estate transaction, what information will the title company need?
A. It is important to understand what may be needed by the title company if the buyer or seller have any special circumstances. Here is a quick reference guide to clear title:
The sellers are getting a divorce:
¨ Property settlement agreement
¨ Spouse must sign off on the deed as well – this will divest themselves of any financial interest in the property
The buyer is getting a divorce:
¨ Spousal waiver must be signed – this will avoid the unknowing spouse to file a judgement and any possible clouds on the title
The seller has passed away:
¨ Death Certificate
¨ Copy of will
¨ Short Certificate appointing an executor/administrator
¨ Proof that inheritance taxes have been paid or due
¨ Proof that federal estate taxes are due or paid
The seller passed away in another state:
¨ In this case, an exemplary copy of the estate filing must be filed with the Register of Wills in the county that the property sits in
The seller is a corporation:
¨ The Operating Agreement
¨ Certificate of Organization
¨ Certificate of Good Standing
¨ Proof that the corporate taxes have been paid
The seller is a Trust:
¨ Complete copy of the Trust
¨ Proof that the Trust has not been revoked or changed
The seller is a Partnership or LLC
¨ Partnership agreement reflecting the partners
¨ Which partner will be attending closing/signing the deed
The seller does not want to come to closing:
¨ The title company would prefer that the seller sign a deed package instead of using a Power of Attorney (POA). This conveys a clearer title and ensures the seller is aware that the property being sold.
Note: A POA should only be used as a last resort and if the seller is physically incapacitated. A POA cannot be used if the seller is deceased. Even if an agreement is entered into by a rightful POA, if the seller passes during the course of the transaction, the POA cannot be used to complete the sale.
The buyer cannot attend closing:
¨ In this case, a POA will be necessary. However, if the buyer is getting a mortgage, the lender must approve the use of a POA first because some lenders will not allow it. Title companies can prepare the POA once the lender authorizes the use of it.
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The Scott Loper Team
Scott & Lisa Loper