Seller Information Sheet: Please fill out completely and return to The Fryer Law Firm as soon as possible.
- The Seller Information Sheet will be sent to either the seller or to the listing agent to forward to the seller as soon as a binding contract is received by our office.
- Seller needs to provide his/her contact phone number, social security number, date of birth, email, all payoff information on any open mortgages (loan number, lender name and contact info), forwarding address, and signature to authorize the lender to release payoff information.
- If the property has mandatory HOA dues (whether a condo, townhouse, or subdivision), seller needs to provide the contact info for the HOA management company.
Title Clearance: Seller has agreed in the contract to warrant insurable title at closing.
- Fryer will order a certified title and tax report to show any unpaid mortgages, liens, judgments, or taxes; all of these items must be paid and/or cleared prior to closing.
- Fryer’s title department may request a copy of the seller’s owner’s title policy to clear/insure unresolved issues on the title.
- Seller may be asked to sign an affidavit to clear liens against similar names to the seller’s name, once we determine that the lien is not against our seller.
- All owners on the title must sign the sales contract and seller paperwork to sell the property.
- Any balance due to the HOA must also be paid and cleared.
- Seller will sign several affidavits at closing to confirm that there have not been any recent changes to the title, including last-minute conveyances, additional mortgages, or liens; this is required to update/complete the title search through the closing date.
- If the Seller is a corporation, estate, partnership, LLC, or trust, Seller will need to provide additional information, including authority to sell on behalf of the entity, corporate or partnership resolutions and tax ID numbers, operating agreements, trust agreements, and wills and probate documentation. If the owner has died, the probate process could delay closing until completed.
- If the Sellers are divorcing or divorced, Sellers will need to provide a copy of the divorce paperwork and any settlement agreement prior to closing.
- Once the seller has returned the Seller Information Sheet, Fryer Law will order payoffs on all mortgages disclosed on the sheet.
- If any additional (or old) mortgages or liens show up on the title search, Fryer will contact the seller for more information and the seller’s title policy.
- If there are personal liens or judgments against the seller, the seller may try to negotiate these payoffs prior to closing with the lienholder or creditor’s attorney.
- Once Fryer obtains the payoffs, any additional payments made by the seller will not generate any automatic update to the payoff from the lender. Seller will be refunded any payoff overage by the mortgage company.
- Payoffs may require the addition of a late charge if the current month’s payment has not been made.
- Any positive escrow balance shown on a mortgage payoff will be refunded directly to the seller by the mortgage company, unless this balance has been netted from the mortgage payoff. Any negative escrow balance will be added to the payoff amount, along with any accrued late charges or other lender fees.
Attending Closing – Sellers are encouraged to attend closing in person, and all owners must sign the seller paperwork. All sellers should bring their photo IDs to closing.
- Powers of Attorney and Remote/Zoom Closings when a party can not attend closing in person
Fryer Law Firm can prepare and provide a Power of Attorney (POA) to be executed by a party to the transaction that can not attend closing.
- If the seller is signing at another location, the POA must be witnessed and notarized before returning the original to our office, along with the seller’s photo ID.
- The person needing a POA can also come to the Fryer office prior to closing and sign here with our witness/notary provided.
- Current Georgia Law (2020-2021) allows remote notarizations via Zoom if the parties are signing in the State of Georgia. This law is in effect to provide social distancing due to COVID-19 restrictions and health considerations. Parties who attend closings in person may also request signing in their cars, outside on the Fryer front porch, or in separate sanitized offices in our building. All Fryer employees and parties in the building will wear masks and observe social distancing.
- Original documents must be delivered to the signing parties by courier or Federal Express, and Fryer attorneys must witness all notarized documents via Zoom. The originals must then be returned to Fryer Law for original notary/witness signatures to be affixed before the closing can be finalized and disbursed.
- Seller may choose to get a Fryer escrow check for the proceeds or a bank wire for a nominal charge. Fryer can not send wires to international bank accounts or to anyone other than the sellers on title, except to another law firm for a future closing.
- Proceeds are released once all conditions of closing have been met: all seller signatures, buyer/borrower signatures and funds, lender approvals and funds, any title clearance issues, and receipt of all original documents signed remotely or via Zoom.
- If the proceeds are to be split between owners, all owners must approve the split before or at closing; this includes divorce settlements and other co-owner arrangements.
- If the seller owes funds to close, those funds must be wired to Fryer prior to closing.
- Fryer Law will disburse all payments and payoffs shown on the closing statement, including real estate commissions, mortgage and tax payoffs, lien payoffs, HOA balances, and home warranties.
- Fryer Law can also disburse payments for repair bills, once the buyer’s lender approves these payments. Otherwise, the seller must handle repair payments outside of closing.
Out of State Seller:
The Georgia Department Revenue requires that if a seller is an out of state seller and if they are receiving a profit, they may have to pay 3% Georgia withholding tax, unless the seller meets certain exceptions. We advise all out of state sellers to discuss the tax implications with their accountant before proceeding with the sale of real property. Please review the attached Georgia Gain Form in order to understand if a withholding will be required.
The IRS requires that if the seller is a foreign seller that not only will the seller have to pay 3% in Georgia withholding taxes, but the seller will be subject to a FIRPTA tax. The FIRPTA tax requires a seller to pay up to 15% in FIRPTA taxes. FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980) was enacted by the United States to tax foreign person on dispositions of U.S. real property interests. We advise all foreign sellers to discuss the tax implications with their accountant before proceeding with the sale of real property.
- See link for exceptions from FIRPTA: withholding(https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/exceptions-from-firpta-withholding)
- See link for FIRPTA rates of withholding: (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/firpta-withholding)