Real Estate Closings in South Carolina
Real estate closings legally transfer ownership of a commercial or residential property from the seller to the buyer. While typically a happy moment, a closing can become complicated and contentious. It is important to understand the process and your rights before you attend a real estate closing in South Carolina. Thankfully, a real estate lawyer will guide you through the entire closing process.
South Carolina’s Real Estate Closing Process
The Charleston market is appealing to full-time and part-time residents, as well as commercial ventures. If you have purchased property in other states, do not assume that your experience in South Carolina will be identical. (Real estate law varies from state to state.) For example, South Carolina does not require a full home inspection but does insist on a termite inspection.
And, unlike most states, a lawyer must oversee all real estate closings in South Carolina. According to South Carolina law, a lawyer must help the buyer and seller:
- Resolve any title issues (such as liens, judgments, unpaid taxes, or mortgage debts),
- Detail any easements and right-of-ways that allow others access to the property,
- Sign a series of documents (required by state law),
- File these documents with the appropriate governmental entity, and
- Make payments in compliance with the purchase agreement.
This is not a simple process. Thankfully, an experienced real estate lawyer will ensure that all steps are properly completed– protecting your financial and legal interests.
Why Does South Carolina Require a Lawyer at Real Estate Closings?
At a closing, both the buyer and the seller typically sit at one table and sign a series of legal documents. (Remote closings are also possible if one party lives out-of-state or cannot attend in person.) These documents detail the transfer of title, property tax allocations, and other important terms of sale. One mistake could negatively impact your life and financial well-being for years.
Unfortunately, documents at North Charleston real estate closings are not written in plain English. Instead, they are frequently lengthy and contain technical and legal language — making it very difficult for the average person to understand their rights and obligations. It is never in your best interest to sign a contract or other legal document that you do not understand.
For this reason, South Carolina law insists that a lawyer guide you through your North Charleston real estate closing. The lawyer must ensure that both the buyer and the seller understand the terms and conditions of the sale. The lawyer will also explain any state and county real estate laws that apply to the transaction. A lawyer can only represent one party at your closing but the law does allow your lawyer to prepare the required legal documents for the seller. Some sellers chose to have their own lawyer.
While your real estate agent may recommend a lawyer, you have the right to choose your own attorney. When you work with the Steadman Law Firm, we provide personalized attention and detailed legal advice. Our goal is to ensure that real estate closings are as seamless as possible — and that everyone’s rights are fully protected.
Real Estate Dispute Resolution
Unfortunately, buyers and sellers do not always agree on the terms of a purchase agreement. If a dispute over arises, it can cause delays (and potentially, litigation). Common disputes involve:
- What items are included in the sale,
- Whether repairs must be made to the property,
- When possession will occur, and
- Issues concerning zoning and land use.
In these situations, a skilled real estate lawyer can help you resolve these disputes quickly and efficiently. A lawyer can help you mediate your disagreement and help you arrive at a solution that benefits both the buyer and seller (ideally before your closing).
Speak with an Experienced Real Estate Lawyer
At North Charleston real estate closings, the buyer and seller must be represented by a lawyer. At Steadman Law Firm, we are ready to assist you in your closing — and will use over 35 years of experience to ensure a smooth process.