The Closing Process for Buyers2016-12-27T18:10:12+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a title company?

A title company manages three aspects of a real estate transaction: title insurance, escrow and closing. Title insurance is an insured statement of the condition of your ownership rights to the home. Escrow simply means that your title company will hold funds and documents until everyone is ready to complete the sale. The closing requires your title company to prepare documents, conduct the meeting at which you sign the paperwork, and address your questions or concerns.

Where are you located?

Smart Title has one location.

Phone: (615) 393-6222

What are typical closing costs?

Typical Closing Costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Settlement Services Fees ($325)
  • Title Insurance (varies by county and is based on the purchase price)
    Shipping and handling (typically around $25 per package), courier (typically around $25-$70, depending on location of other title company), release tracking fees ($35 each payoff)
  • Mortgage Payoffs (provided by your mortgage lender)
  • Payoffs for other Liens (provided by the lien holder)
  • Real Estate Agent Commissions (as per the Listing Agreement)
  • Home Warranty (as per the Purchase & Sale Agreement)
  • Credit for Buyer’s Closing Costs/Pre-Paid’s (as per the Purchase & Sale Agreement)
  • Property Tax Pro Ration or Payments (based on the most current tax bill)
  • HOA Dues, Fees or Pro Ration (Provided by your HOA management company)

What information do you need from me to get started?

We will obtain the Purchase & Sale Agreement plus supporting paperwork from your Real Estate Agent. At the beginning of the process, a member of the Smart Title team will reach out to you for the following information:

  • Your forwarding address
  • Social Security Number
  • Your marital status and name of your spouse, if married
  • Mortgage Information (Name of Bank, Loan Number & Customer Service Phone Number)
  • Homeowner’s Association Information (Management Company, President or Treasurer)
  • If a Trust is purchasing the property, then we will require a copy of the Trust Agreement
  • If a Company (LLC, Corporation, etc.) is purchasing the property, then your Settlement Officer will discuss with you the documentation required for the closing.
  • If one or more of the owners is deceased, then your Settlement Agent will discuss with you the documentation required for the closing.

What is reissue credit and how do I take advantage of the savings?

If you have a current Owner’s Title Insurance Policy and owned the property for less than ten years, then you may be entitled to receive of up to 30%. To take advantage of the discount, send the Settlement Officer Schedules A and B of your Owner’s Policy as soon as possible. We are glad to assist you with locating the title company that issued your Owner’s Policy but privacy restrictions usually require that you make the request yourself, possibly in writing.

How long does a closing take?

Closings typically take 20-30 minutes.

Does my spouse need to attend the closing?

Whether your spouse will need to attend the closing will depend on a number of factors. Please reach out to your Settlement Officer for information specific to your transaction. In general, your spouse will be required to attend the closing if you and your spouse resided in the property as a primary residence. Your spouse is not required to attend the closing if the property was used for business or investment purposes.

I cannot attend the closing. What should I do?

Please make every effort to attend the closing. Smart Title schedules closings as early as 8:00 AM and as late as 5:00 PM to accommodate as many schedules as possible but you may need to take at least a few hours off work. Try not to schedule trips (especially overseas) or important events (such as your wedding) the day before or the day after the closing.

We understand that your schedule may prevent you from attending the closing. You may be in another state, on an important business trip or unable to travel due to illness or injury. These are good reasons for missing a closing.

We offer three options for those who cannot attend the closing. Each transaction is unique- please contact your Settlement Officer for information specific to your transaction.

  1. Power of Attorney (POA). A document by which one person authorizes another person (called the “attorney-in-fact”) to attend the closing and sign all of the paperwork on your behalf.
    1. POA document must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public (you may not e-sign a POA).
    2. The original, fully-executed POA will be delivered to Smart Title prior to the closing.
    3. No fee to prepare a POA but recordation is usually around $25.
    4. Shipping/Handling, if necessary, is usually around $25.
    5. You should only name those you trust and know well to serve as your Attorney-in-Fact (such as your spouse, family members or very close friends). Unless a family member or spouse, your Real Estate Agent is not a good option.
  2. Witness Closing or Mobile Closing. A title company or mobile closer in your area will be contracted out to conduct the closing.
    1. Smart Title will locate and hire the witness/mobile closer. You will schedule the closing appointment time and location with the witness/mobile closer.
    2. Cost is usually around $150, plus $25 for shipping/handling.
    3. Smart Title cannot accept responsibility for or warrant the ability, skill, knowledge, or professionalism of the witness/mobile closer.
    4. Due to the complicated and difficult nature of witness/mobile closings, this is a good option only for those who do not have family in middle Tennessee able to serve as an Attorney-in-Fact.
  3. Mail-Away Closing. This is a DIY closing.
    1. Smart Title will email you closing documents and a shipping label.
    2. You are solely responsible for locating a Notary Public, proper execution of documents, and shipping. You Settlement Officer is available to answer your questions or concerns.
    3. Cost is $25, for shipping and handling.
    4. This option is only available for the following:
      • Certain trustees
      • Officer of a company or corporation
      • Real estate professional

Again, real estate transfers are complicated transactions which are made even more difficult for clients who cannot attend the closing. If you choose to utilize the witness, mobile or mail-away closing options, be prepared for additional work, stress and time constraints.

What if I am in another country?

Please reach out to your Settlement Officer for information specific to your transaction. Depending on the country in which you are located, you may be required to seek out the US or Apostille.

Should I schedule a babysitter for the closing?

Please do not feel the need to schedule a babysitter- we welcome children and babies. Smart Title is a fun, casual office. We keep toys, milk, juice and healthy snacks for the children to enjoy.

When will I see a HUD?

Smart Title will prepare the HUD after the Title Examination is complete and upon receipt of HOA Statements, Home Warranty invoices, Mortgage and Lien Payoffs, and documentation for other charges on the HUD. This typically occurs a few days prior to the closing, depending on when we received the order and Title Examination.

For an estimate of your net proceeds, please ask your Real Estate Agent to prepare one using Smart Title’s Home Sale Calculator. It’s located in the Agent Gateway on our website.

I have to bring funds to the table. How do I deliver funds to Smart Title?

Due to the Tennessee Good Funds Act and banking regulations, Smart Title requires funds be delivered in the following manner:

  • Wire Transfer for amounts over $10,000
  • Cashier’s Check for amounts $1,000 to $10,000
  • Personal Check or Cash for amounts under $1,000

These amounts are based on the total cash to close. We cannot accept money orders, credit cards, debit cards or bill-pay checks.

I am expecting to net proceeds from the sale. How will Smart Title deliver those proceeds to me?

Since the Buyer may be closing at another title company, we may not have funds ready for you at the closing table. Also, due to banking regulations and the closing process, it may up to 24 hours after the closing to disburse funds.

For your convenience, Smart Title offers two options for the delivery of your proceeds:

  1. Wire Transfer. Smart Title will wire transfer proceeds directly into your bank account as soon as we are authorized to disburse.
    1. Cost is usually around $25.
    2. You will provide Smart Title your bank’s wiring instructions by filling out and signing the Wire Authorization Form located on the Forms page.
    3. It may take up to 4 business hours after initiation for funds to reach your bank.
    4. Please contact your bank for its policies and fees.
  2. Check. You will pick up a check at one of our office locations after the closing.
    1. We will call you when your check is ready to pick up.
    2. We may ship your check to you for an additional shipping and handling charge.
    3. Smart Title cannot deliver your check to you or deposit it for you.
    4. Check your bank for information regarding hold on funds, application to your account and fees.

Due to restrictions on our bank account, we cannot initiate wire transfers to overseas bank accounts or ACH transfers. We cannot give you cash.

I am applying my proceeds towards the purchase of another home. What should I do to ensure that funds arrive on time?

Provide your Settlement Officer with contact information for the title company that is handling your purchase as early in the process as possible. Your Settlement Officer will make arrangements for you.

What do I need to bring to closing?

Bring your driver’s license or other government-issued ID, check book and documentation required to complete the transaction.

How do I deliver keys?

Since the Buyer may be closing at a different time or title company, it is likely that we will not be able to deliver keys for you. Please coordinate the delivery of keys, garage door openers, security system codes and pool keys with your Real Estate Agent prior to the closing.