5 Things NOT TO DO During the Closing Process

1. CHANGE YOUR MARITAL STATUS: How you hold title is affected by your marital status. Be sure to make both your lender and the title company aware of any changes in your marital status so that documents can be prepared correctly.

2. CHANGE JOBS: A job change may result in your loan being denied, particularly if you are taking a lower-paying posi...tion or moving into a different field. Don't think you're safe because you've received approval earlier in the process, as the lender may call you employer to re-verify employment just prior to funding the loan.

3. SWITCH BANKS OR MOVE YOUR MONEY TO ANOTHER INSTITUTION: After the lender has verified your funds at one or more institutions, the money should remain there until neede for purchase.

4. PAYING OFF EXISTING ACCOUNTS UNLESS YOUR LENDER REQUESTS IT: If your Loan Officer advises you to pay off certain bills in order to qualify for the loan, follow that advice. Otherwise, leave your accounts as they are until your escow closes.

5. MAKE ANY LARGE PURCHASES: A major purchase that requires a withdrawal from your verified funds or increases your debt can result in your not qualifying for the loan. A lender may check your credit or re-verify funds at the last minute, so avoid purchases that could impact your loan approval.

We understand that by keeping you informed and helping you prepare for the closing day, the more likely you will have stress-free closing experience. Our courteous and professional staff is proactive in their communication and works together to ensure the orderly and efficient transfer of real estate...and we do it with a level of service and friendliness hard to beat in this industry

Identification Requirements at Closing

To help prevent instances of forgery and fraud, parties signing documents in a real estate or lending transaction are required by law to provide acceptable forms of identification.  Although specific requirements may vary from state to state, here is a general overview of the type(s) of indentification that are typically used to substantiate and affirm identity.



The document must be current and contain the document signer's photograph, physical description, signature, and bear a serial or other identifying number.

- Valid Driver's License or non-driver I.D. issued by any state
- United States Passport (physical description not required)
- Foreign Passport stamped by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Valid United States Military I.D.
- Valid Canadian or Mexican Driver's License issued by the Official Agency


x Temporary Driver's License
x Driver's License without a photograph

x Social Security Cards
x Employee I.D. Badges
x Club Cards
x Permanent Resident I.D. Card

The Closing Agent / Notary must make sure that the document signer signs the name that appears on the identification presented. Generally, an abbreviated form of a name (John D. Smith instead of John David Smith, for example) is acceptable. However, deviation is only allowed if the individual is signing with less than and not more than what is on the identification document. If your name has changed or it will change prior to the closing, please provide the proper identification to support the change.

We understand that by keeping you informed and helping you prepare for the closing day, the more likely you will have a stress-free closing experience. If you have questions, regarding identification documentation, please contact us prior to closing.

Common Ways of Holding Title to Real Property

How should I take ownership to the property I am buying?


This important question is one that Florida real property purchasers ask their real estate, escrow and title professionals every day. Unfortunately, these professionals may not recommend a specific form of ownership, as doing so would constitute practicing law.

Because real property has becom...e increasingly more valuable, the question of how parties take ownership of their property has gained greater importance. The form of ownership taken – the vesting of title – will determine who needs to sign documents involving the property and future rights of the parties to the property. These rights involve such matters as:

Real property taxes
Income taxes
Estate taxes
Gift taxes
Transferability of title
Exposure to creditors’ claim

Concerning real property taxes, Florida law provides for a $25,000.00 assessment exemption with respect to one’s homestead. That is, the assessed value of your homestead will be reduced by $25,000.00. The manner in which title is vested can have an effect on the availability of the exemption and as a purchaser; you may want to contact your local county tax collector to verify the availability of the exemption.

Also, how title is vested can have significant probate implications in the event of death.


A-1 Title of the Nature Coast, Inc. advises those purchasing real property to give careful consideration to the manner in which title will be held. Buyers may wish to consult legal counsel to determine the most advantageous form of ownership for their particular situation, especially in cases of multiple owners of a single property.

Purchasers should consider the following definitions of common vesting as an information overview only. Consumers should not rely on these legal definitions. Purchasers should carefully consider their vesting decision prior to closing, and seek legal counsel should they be unfamiliar with the most suitable ownership choice for their particular situation.

Sole Ownership – Sole ownership may be described as ownership by an individual or other entity capable of acquiring title. Examples of common vestings in cases of sole ownership are:

A Single Man/Woman – a man or woman who has not been legally married. For Example: Bruce Buyer, a single man.

An Unmarried Man/Woman – a man or woman who was previously married and is now legally divorced. For Example: Sally Seller, an unmarried woman.

Co-Ownership – Estate by Entirety
A form of vesting title to property acquired by husband and wife during their marriage. This estate is presumed when husband and wife acquire title, unless otherwise specified. Right of survivorship is inherent. Both spouses must join in the same instrument to mortgage or convey property.

Joint Tenancy
A form of vesting title to property owned by two or more persons, who may or may not be married, in equal interest, with the right of survivorship in the surviving joint tenant(s). Title must have been acquired at the same time, by the same conveyance, and the document must expressly declare the intention to create a joint tenancy estate with right of survivorship. For Example: Bruce Buyer and Barbara Buyer, husband and wife, as Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship (and Not as Tenants in Common). When a joint tenant dies, title to the property automatically passes by operation of law to the surviving joint tenant(s). Therefore, joint tenancy property is not subject to disposition by will.

Tenancy in Common
A form of vesting title to property owned by any two or more individuals in undivided fractional interests. The fractional interests may be unequal quantity and may arise at different times. Each co-tenant may sell, lease or will to his/her heir that share of the property belonging to him/her. For Example: Bruce Buyer, a single man, as to undivided ¾ interest, and Penny Purchase, a single woman, as to undivided ¼ interest, as tenants in common.

Other Ways of Vesting Title Include as a:

A corporation is a legal entity, created by statute, consisting of one or more shareholders, but regarded under law as having an existence and personality separate from such shareholders.

A partnership is an association of two or more persons who can carry on business for profit as co-owners, as governed by various partnership statutes such as the Uniform Partnership Act. A partnership may hold title to real property in the name of the partnership.

A trust is an arrangement whereby legal title to property is transferred by the grantor to a person called a trustee, to be held and managed by that person for the benefit of the people specified in the trust agreement.



Steps to Avoid Delays at Closing

  • Locate your Owner's Title Policy. This not only creates efficiencies, but also minimizes the risk of title objections.  Your policy may also qualify for a re-issue credit discount.

  • If you have them, locate your property survey and flood elevation certificate and provide these to your listing agent who will provide to all other parties requesting.

  • Locate your mortgage statement(s) for loan information and bank contact information.  This includes credit lines.

  • If applicable, have condominium and homeowner's association contact information on hand.  If your property is condominium, be prepared to order the year end financial information and any recorded amendments.  These items are required under the contract to be delivered to your purchaser.

  • Find out if there are any open or expired permits on your home.  They may exist prior to you purchasing the property, but must be closed out with the municipality prior to closing.  Your agent can assist in researching the permit history from local building departments.

  • If any parties to the transaction are not local and accesible, notify your listing agent so that arrangements can be made in advance to properly execute documents for closing.

  • All parties that are on the title to the property, and those added on by Quit Claim Deed are necessary parties to sign the transfer documents.  Also, on Homestead property, if you are married, but your spouse is a non-title holder, he or she must sign the deed at closing as well.


If the following circumstances apply here are some tips that can help your closing go smoothly:


1.  Divorced - we will need a copy of the divorce decree (ceritified copy or original).


2.  Bankruptcy - we will need a copy of the bankruptcy documents (ceritifed copy or original).


3.  Forclosure - we will need a copy of the forclosure documents (certified copy or original).


4.  Guardianship - we will need a copy of the guardianship documents (certified copy or original).


5.   Incompetence - we will need a copy of the incompetence documents (ceritifed copy or original).


6.  Trust - we will need a copy of the Trust (certified copy or original).


7.  Death Certificate - will need to be an original if not already recorded in county property is located in.


(1-7) If these items are not filed in the Public Records in the county where the property is located at, than a certified copy or original must be obtained to file in the county records of said property.