Real Estate Closing Attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia | Harlan and Associates

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Frequently-Asked Questions

Do you work with real estate investors?
Will you perform simultaneous or double closings?
How much are closing costs?
Can I pay with a credit card?
When can I schedule my closing?
How long does it take to get a title exam?
Do you handle 1031 Exchanges?
Do you handle short sales?
Will you help prepare a draft HUD for my short sale package?
Will you perform "subject-to" closings?
Do you work with land trusts?
Will the use of a land trust help me avoid the due-on-sale clause?
Should I buy title insurance?
How long does it take to get my title insurance policy after closing?
Have a question you'd like answered? Just let us know!

Do you work with real estate investors?

Absolutely! At Harlan and Associates, we have over thirty years of experience working with real estate investors.

We represent all types of real estate investor clients, and have worked with many hard-money and private lenders, rehabbers, subject-to investors, land trust investors, property wholesalers, portfolio investors, landlords, and even raw land developers and builders.

Will you perform simultaneous or double closings?

A Double Closing is the simultaneous purchase and sale of real property. In a typical double-closing scenario, a real estate investor acquires property from a seller at one price and immediately resells it to an end-buyer at a higher price. The difference between the two prices represents the profit to the investor.

Double Closings are also commonly-referred to as simultaneous, back-to-back, or same day closings. We have, and will, handle these types of closings under limited circumstances:

1. The end-buyer's lender must be specifically informed that the seller for their transaction is not in title; and they must consent in writing to the transaction.

2. Each half of the transaction must be kept fully separate and stand on its own. The initial acquisition must be fully funded and disbursed with money coming from and going to all appropriate parties. The end sale must also stand on its own. The proceeds from the sale can not be used to fund any portion of the acquisition.

Harlan and Associates will not handle any type of simultaneous or double closing if the first of the transactions is a short sale.

As a practical matter, double closings are only possible if the end purchaser is paying with either Hard Money or cash. Because assignment fees are also appropriate in most of these transactions, we encourage their use instead in order to save you the costs of paying for two separate closings.

Please understand that the circumstances in which a double or simultaneous closing would be appropriate are exceedingly rare, and as an investor you are probably better served by looking at alternate financing and investment options.

How much are closing costs?

Closing costs will differ from property to property; if you’d like an estimate, just request a fee sheet, and we’ll send one out to you.

Can I pay with a credit card?

Yes. We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

When can I schedule my closing?

You can request to schedule a closing at any time, though we recommend that no closing be scheduled until the title exam has been returned from the courthouse and reviewed by our staff.

How long does it take to get a title exam?

For metro-Atlanta counties, the typical turnaround time for a title exam is typically one to three business days. Counties outside the metro area may take longer, as may any property with significant title issues.

Title orders can be rush ordered and, depending upon the county, the exam may come back the same day.

Title requests can be faxed to us at (770) 817-1013, emailed to us at titles@harlan-law.com, or made online. Title exams are always ordered the same day you request them.

Do you handle 1031 exchanges?

A 1031 Exchange, also known as a like-kind exchange, is a way to structure the sale of investment property so that the profit or gain is deferred to a later date.

We have closed many 1031 Exchanges in the past and have worked with most of the major Qualified Intermediary entities.

Do you handle short sales?

Absolutely. We've closed many short sales. Just let us know when you order title that there is a short sale involved, and when you send over a contract, make sure you send us your approval letter from the short-selling lender. If you don't have an approval letter, let us know. We'll work with you as you present your offer to the lender.

Harlan and Associates will not handle any type of simultaneous or double closing if the first of the transactions is a short sale.

Will you help prepare a draft HUD for my short sale package?

Most lenders require a draft settlement statement when considering a short-sale offer. Just let us know when you’re ordering title, and we’ll happily prepare a preliminary HUD for you to use when making your offer.

If don’t want to order title until the short sale has been approved, that’s not a problem. Just let us know in the special instructions of the title request form. We’ll still put together your draft HUD, and hold off the actual ordering of title until you’re ready.

Will you perform subject-to closings?

Yes. We have handled hundreds of subject-to transactions.

Do you work with land trusts?

Absolutely. In fact, most of the land trust investors in town are using documents that we wrote.

That being said, please understand that land trusts have very limited value in Georgia. As an investor, you would probably be better served working through a limited liability company or corporate entity.

Will the use of a land trust help me avoid the due-on-sale clause?

Probably not. While the Garn-St Germain Act does state that the transfer of a property into a trust, in very limited circumstances, cannot be used to invoke a mortgage's due-on-sale clause, the truth is that this exemption does not apply to the great bulk of investor transactions. Investors should be aware of the due-on-sale clause and be prepared in case a loan is ever called due.

Should I buy title insurance?

While owner’s title insurance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that investors purchase an owner’s title insurance policy to protect against any potential financial loss should there be an issue with the title to the property. Possible issues include identity theft, liens and judgments recorded just before closing, and mistakes made by the clerk of court – none of which would be disclosed by the title exam and any of which could be financially catastrophic to the investor.

In fact, many of our investor clients would never think of purchasing a property without getting a title insurance policy to protect them.

For more information, please see our page on owner’s title insurance.

How long does it take to get my title insurance policy after closing?

In most cases, a short-form owner’s title insurance policy is issued immediately after closing.

Have a question you'd like answered? Just let us know!