What you should know before selling your home in Bluffton, SC

The Closing

South Carolina law requires that real estate closing transactions be handled by an attorney who is licensed to practice in the state. The Buyer and Seller are represented by the attorneys of their own choosing (except where the Buyer is obligated to use a mortgage lender’s attorney in order to get financing), and each side is responsible for its own attorney's fees. A Seller may limit his expense by agreeing to allow the Buyers' attorney to handle both sides of the transaction if it is uncomplicated.

All the costs associated with a real estate closing will be contained in a HUD statement. There are columns for the sellers' side and for the buyers, and items listed in each will be explained to everyone at the closing table. Advance copies of the HUD are typically distributed to all parties to the sale during the 2-3 days prior to the closing, so everyone can review the figures for accuracy. Property taxes and community fees are pro-rated over the course of the year of the sale, so that the Seller will have paid his fair share, and the Buyer will be liable for the remainder.

At the closing, the attorney who is handling the transaction will offer a large stack of documents for your signature. Each of these will be explained to you in detail before you sign the final HUD. (The buyer will get an even larger pile of paperwork!)

Sales involving a 1031 Exchange, in which like-kind investment properties are bought or sold without immediate tax liability, are conducted through a Qualified Intermediary, who holds the funding for them. It is an arm's-length way to postpone capital gains taxes. An in-depth explanation of that type of transaction is beyond the scope of this article.

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