Closing here in the Grand Strand area can get a bit frustrating when it's time to take possession of your home. Unfortunately, the process is a bit different than what you are likely familiar with.
Over the years I've experienced many issues with our closing process here in Horry & Georgetown County. Those instances led me to write a quick article addressing the closing and recording process.
In this area, unfortunately, we are a little behind on the times. We are one of the only areas in the state that still operate using "recording" guidelines. So, what does this mean for you?? In a nutshell, there is a 2 part process to how your closing will be handled.
First, the seller and you will sign closing documents (In most states this would make the sale final and the attorneys would disburse funds to the seller. However, it's just the start of the closing process in our area.)
The second step referred to as "recording", is what will allow me to transfer keys so you can physically gain access to the property. Recording happens when the deed has made it's way to the courthouse and the on-site title abstractor updates and records the deed transfer in your name. The timing is what so often causes an issue. Attorneys only send their courier to the courthouse once a day. Most attorneys send the courier midday and the abstractor usually records the deed between 3:00-5:00 pm. So please keep in mind if either you or seller sign closing documents in the afternoon, it will be the following day between the hours of 3:00 & 5:00 before you can physically take possession of the property. This can cause a nightmare for some, I know! Especially if the closing gets delayed by a day or so and falls on a Friday. Imagine signing your closing documents and paying for utilities through the weekend, however not being able to gain access until the following week (Monday). Trust me, I don't like the process and think it needs to be adjusted for consistency across the country; however, it's not me who can make that call, unfortunately. The attorneys are the ones who will eventually have to make this change. Please know, I do everything possible to get you in the property as quickly as I'm allowed! One precaution I'm able to take is setting the closing date earlier in the week. You'll notice in your contract I always set closing for Monday-Thursday to prepare for any unexpected delays. Another precaution I take is making sure the attorneys are aware ahead of time if you or sellers are closing by "mail-away". (Mail-Away is when you or the sellers are signing from another location and returning the package back through Fed-Ex). If either party is closing by mail-away there is a very good chance you will not take possession until a day after signing. As we have 2 separate attorneys in most cases (buyers attorney & sellers attorney) it's extremely important the attorneys coordinate everything the appropriate way. If either the seller or you are closing by mail away, it is almost certain recording will happen at least a day behind the closing.
**Please Note for mail aways** If you are financing your property and closing by mail away there is a 100% chance recording will not happen until the following day at best. The lenders will not allow closing documents to be signed and executed prior to the closing date. So, the best case scenario would be you receiving the closing documents one day early, signing, overnighting back the same day, and attorneys having everything ready to head to the courthouse the following day before noon. Please keep in mind this is the best case scenario!
Long story short, when it comes to you taking possession of the property I always tell my clients to expect the worst and hope for the best. I just don't want you to not be prepared should something happen. It's best to have a hotel lined up and make sure the movers understand the furniture may stay on a truck overnight just in case there is a delay in the process. I understand this isn't an easy task, but from experience, I have found it's best to be prepared for the issues before they happen.
I know this seems to be way more complicated then it should be! Remember, I don't like it any more than you do! But since I can't change it, I feel it's my duty to have you prepared for the worst case scenario. Please call me with any questions or concerns and I will certainly do my best to help!