Real Estate Closing in NC

Typical Real Estate Closing Procedures in North Carolina

Real estate transactions are different in every part of the United States, so there's no one list of "typical" events that can be used to prepare buyers and sellers for the progression from contract to closing.


Below you'll find a short look at closings in North Carolina. Attorneys do title searches and acquire title insurance for buyers in our state, but some other items might not be typical throughout all of North Carolina.


The Home Buyer's Offer to Purchase Contract


The majority of residential sales contracts are written by real estate agents using standard forms provided by the North Carolina Association of Realtors. These "fill in the blanks" forms were developed by attorneys and comply with our state laws.

Home buyers sometimes ask their attorneys to draft offers for them.


Due Diligence Period


The buyer will have a Due Diligence Period within which basic inspections are conducted, all financing is arranged, boundary surveys are conducted, documents are reviewed, insurance, appraisals, and any zoning and government regulations are reviewed. The Due Diligence Period time frame and expiration date is negotiated between the buyer and seller.


During the Due Diligence Period, the buyer, at the buyer’s expense, is entitled to pursue all the qualifications and approval of the loan.


Repair Negotiations / Agreement


The buyer and seller may negotiate for repairs to the property, however the buyer should make any repair requests allowing sufficient time to be finalized prior to the end of the Due Diligence Period expiration date.


Residential Property Disclosure


NC law requires that most sellers furnish a residential property disclosure that describes the condition of all systems in the home.


Closing Highlights

  • Attorneys do title searches, acquire title insurance for buyers, and handle the closing transaction
  • Attorneys and real estate agents work with lenders to coordinate the closing, making sure everything is handled on time.
  • Attorneys prepare deeds for sellers.
  • Buyers choose the closing attorney of their choice. It is often easier if buyers and sellers use the same attorney to streamline the process, however the seller may also choose a different attorney to draw the deed.

Typical Home Buyer Expenses

  • Home inspections
  • Surveys
  • Their share of yearly property taxes, property association dues, and other similar fees (prorated for date of closing)
  • Fees for a title search and duties performed by their attorney, title insurance policies, hazard insurance for a year, down-payment and lender fees, flood zone certification fees
  • Cost to record the new deed
  • Funds to open lender escrow accounts for property taxes and insurance that will be paid by lender the following year

Typical Home Seller Expenses

  • Deed preparation (attorney fee)
  • Tax stamps, an excise tax based on sales price
  • Their prorated share of: property taxes, property association dues, other similar fees
  • Real estate commission if an agency is involved
  • Fees associated with loan payoff or transferring funds into a checking account (overnight fees, electronic fund transfer)
  • Any costs they've agreed to share with the buyer

Typical Buyer's Step-by-Step Progression

  1. Buyer makes offer, seller accepts (sounds easier than it may be!)
  2. Buyer's earnest money (good-faith deposit) is placed in the listing agency's trust fund
  3. Lender orders appraisal (buyer or agent might order it for a cash purchase)
  4. Inspections are ordered after an acceptable appraisal is received (If time is a factor, and we're confident the home will appraise, inspections can be done earlier)
  5. Any repair issues are negotiated with the seller
  6. Termite inspection is ordered (must be within 30 days of closing)
  7. Surveys are ordered after a successful appraisal and inspections--buyers don't want to invest too much into the property until they are sure it's a go
  8. Buyer applies for hazard insurance and the information goes to the lender and closing attorney
  9. Nearing closing date, buyer arranges for utilities to be switched over
  10. Closing takes place at the office of the buyer's attorney. The seller's attorney has forwarded signed deeds to the closing attorney
  11. Buyer gives attorney certified funds to pay for closing and signs loan papers and other required documents
  12. Attorney records new deed at the courthouse and disperses funds due to all parties

Real Estate in Your Area


Transactions in your state might differ a great deal, but the timeline will help you get the basic feel for a closing and might help remind you of questions you need to ask your real estate agent, lender and closing agent.

Contact Realtor® Greg Rapp at Wallace Realty: 704.213.6846