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Avoid Pitfalls During The Home Sale Closing Process – The Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show

In today’s episode of the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show, Stephen and Rock Hill real estate attorney, Tracey Reynolds, discuss the legalities of buying a home without surprises. And if you bought a home, you know that you don’t get the keys until you go to the attorney’s office.

It can be a very stressful event although it’s a very exciting time period and sometimes people are confused about the entire process. If you’re looking to buy a home, call Tracey at 803-328-0150 or visit her website

For more useful information watch this video:

Prefer to read? Here are the transcripts of the video:
(Please excuse spelling and grammar errors)

STEPHEN: Hello I’m Stephen Cooley and welcome to the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show and once again I’ve got Tracey Reynolds on the show and Tracey is my real estate show attorney expert, so I really appreciate you coming on the show and providing us with great legal advice about buying a home. And if you bought a home you know that you don’t get the keys until you go to the attorney’s office.

TRACEY: That’s right.

STEPHEN: Oh, that’s where all the fun happens. It’s like a little party where you walk in the door, and you leave with house keys, or if you’re a seller you leave without owning home.

TRACEY: Exactly, yes. And it can be a very stressful event although it is a very exciting time period and I think sometimes people are confused about the entire process, it does end at our office, we strive to make sure that that is a pleasant experience for them that everything’s done when they get there. There’s no surprises. You guys do the same exact thing. One thing to point out is that if you have a loan the closing disclosure is released by the lender in advance of closing. Usually within days of actually applying for the loan and then as the time goes on fees are added to that closing disclosure. One thing to keep in mind is that those fees are our fees and they’re the lender fees because those are the fees that are usually set, don’t change and can be available immediately. What’s not placed on that closing disclosure until right before closing a third party serve a home inspection so keep a list of those items that you’ve purchased throughout the closing process and anticipate that those will be added towards the end because that is a surprise. I think that’s the biggest surprise for a lot of customers.

STEPHEN: Absolutely, I do want to brag on when you use an agent within a Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group and you use Tracey Reynolds to close the loan, there are less surprises. And the closing is where everyone brings their money including the bank and the buyers bring their down payment and all that comes together and all comes on that closing statement, and that’s a three or four page document, and I just want to say that over my career you’ve done a great job explaining to people exactly what is on that statement, because really the sellers just want to get rid of the keys and the buyers want to grab the keys and so you do a great job of letting them understand the buying and selling process and also when there’s a loan involved about 95% of time, there’s one all that’s required out of the bank.

TRACEY: Right, yes. The bank really leads the process to a degree as far as the timing because they have a lot of information to collect, a lot of federal requirements. Yeah, and if you’re getting a 90% loan that means the bank’s taking 90% of the risk and they want to make sure their documents are correct and covered well and signed and you do a great job with that. Tracey can you hit on since tax bills are out South Carolina is one of those states where if you don’t claim your primary residence as your primary residence you pay a lot more in taxes. When I say a lot more in taxes I bought a vacation home and the owners of the home paid about 800 a year and because it was not my primary residence it was almost 7,000 a year. And so it’s very important to claim your home as your primary residence if it is and would you cover that, because it’s so important.

TRACEY: Yes, it is important. So there are two exemptions in South Carolina primarily one is just if you live in the home as your primary residence. You apply for that by having your driver’s license and vehicle registration with the home address and submitting that to the tax office. They have the applications there. It’s a simple application, you just have to declare that this is your primary residence. You can live in the house one day out of the year and get that exemption for the entire year. So if your bill was released, take a look at if it has 6% at the top but it’s your primary residence, go to the march with your driver’s license and vehicle registration to the tax office to get that converted and if you have a lender make sure to get the new invoice to them. They’ll probably figure that out, but I would just go ahead and send it to them anyway. The second assumption is for homestead which is if you’re in the age of 65 and lived in the state of South Carolina for a year so all of those that have moved in you have to wait a year to get that but then you have to apply with the tax office to obtain that and that’s the first 50,000 off the value of the home before it’s taxed.

STEPHEN: Absolutely and South Carolina’s got some of the cheapest property taxes in the country if you claim this as your primary residence. A couple of years ago, I flipped through the tax notices and a lot of people had 6% and I just spent a day calling those people and they didn’t know and one had been paying it for seven years about five times what they’d paid because they were over 65.

TRACEY: Right, it’s not common from the.. North Carolina does not have this, most states don’t have it so you’re not anticipating that there is a .. so it’s important to make sure to contact the tax office to get that established.

STEPHEN: And I just want to say if you’ve used an agent with the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group and you use Tracy Reynolds to close the loan, you will not have this problem. So thank you so much for doing a great job for all our clients and customers and Tracey do you mind letting folks know how to reach you because when you’re buying a home it is up to you to pick your closing attorney. And so I have found that Tracey’s the absolute best in town. So tell us how to reach you Tracey.

TRACEY: My website – it has all the information that we just discussed about the homestead and the primary residence. There’s tons of closing tips just all the information I’ve accumulated over the past 23 years and my phone number is 803-328-0150.

STEPHEN: Tracey take great care of you. Thanks for being our real estate legal expert on the show. We’ve got beautiful homes for sale in your area. Please stay tuned and we’ll be right back.

I hope you’ve enjoyed watching the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show. If you’re interested in advertising your business on the program please give us a call at 803-326-2777.

Join us next week for more discussions on real estate topics and help in finding your perfect home. Thanks for watching.

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