Power of attorney issues
Cumberland Title can, will and prefers to draft this document so we know for sure it will be correct and acceptable for use at the closing. There is specific information that must be contained in a Power of Attorney to be valid for a real estate closing. Some people attempt to draft one themselves but if the document is deemed invalid, the closing cannot happen.
If you are selling a home in Maine and Maine is not considered your permanent residence state, you will be subject to the 2.5% out of state withholding tax. Make sure this is addressed before the closing, or you won’t be closing that day due to additional paperwork needing to be submitted. In the case of those that consider themselves “snow birds” or split their time between two homes in different states, the state where they reside a total of 6 months + 1 day or more, is considered their legal residence.
Last minute changes
Do not pay anything or change anything in the days leading up to the closing. This includes taxes, homeowner’s insurance, home equity lines, in-store credit cards. All of these things affect the outcome of the already approved closing details/figures, and new documents need to be issued by lender and the title company.
Please do not bring cash to a closing. A bank check better protects both you and the title company. If your funds are being wired to the title company, make sure that you allow time for that wire to come through. Wires do not necessarily happen “automatically” and can take up to a few hours to arrive into the account. If you were instructed to bring a check to closing, make sure that you do. If you were told that it had to be a bank check and not a personal check, make sure that it is.
Side deals discussed at the closing table
If you want to ask the seller if you can buy his riding mower too, make sure you do that before or after the closing. Under no circumstances are any side deals or transactions to be discussed at the closing table during the real estate transaction. The law requires that the title company stop the closing immediately and not allow it to continue.
You are required to provide proof of identity at your closing. When you check in to the title company, chances are they are going to ask you for this right up front. You should be prepared to hand them a current, valid ID with photo. Think driver’s license, state ID, or passport. These should be valid and not expired.
A real estate closing should be a happy occasion. Please do your best to avoid these scenarios that will turn this happy occasion into a frustrating one. And a good rule of thumb is: if you are unsure about anything leading up to the closing date, call your lender or title company for guidance.