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What You Should Know About the Home Closing Process: An Interview with Darin Meece of Brock & Meece, PA

By Darin Meece

Tell us a little bit about your experience, firm's history and the areas of law that you practice.

I started practicing law in 1995. Initially, I practiced law with an established, well-regarded downtown Durham law firm. Since 1995, I have centered my practice on real estate law, wills and estate administration, small business law, and general civil law. In 2006, I took my passion for and knowledge of real estate law and joined with my current partner, Paul Brock, to start a new law firm.

The lawyers at Brock & Meece, PA cover a number of practice areas. In addition to my focus on real estate, wills and estates, and small business law, my partner, Paul Brock, focuses on family and domestic law while also spending a good bit of time mediating cases for other attorneys. Scott Holmes, whose practice is solely in First Amendment and Felony Criminal matters, is Of Counsel with our firm, while teaching full time with the NCCU Law School. Ryan Lockamy is in his fifth year of practice in North Carolina. His practice is centered on personal injury litigation, real estate, and misdemeanor criminal law. Our newest attorney, Jeremy Spears, is primarily focused on family law, but also spends time in criminal district court.

What's the role of an attorney in home closings in North Carolina?

North Carolina law requires that an attorney must certify the status of title (ownership) in order for title companies to issue title insurance. Practically, that means attorneys are involved in every step of the closing process. Since I have my hands in the transaction from an early stage, I get the opportunity to serve as advisor, advocate, and facilitator at various points of the process. Each transaction is unique. Some transactions require more of my time as advisor. While other transactions require me to act as transaction facilitator and do what I can to make sure the transaction reaches the finish line.

Can you list the basic steps in the home closing process?

The process starts for us when we receive the executed contract from the parties' agents. From there, we search the title, certify title to the Buyer and their Lender, obtain title insurance, conduct the closing itself, assist the Buyer and Lender in getting all loan documents executed properly, collect and disburse funds, and make sure all the various documents are properly recorded, filed, and returned to the appropriate party.

Is there a common misunderstanding that you've noticed potential sellers and buyers have about the process?

I don't think buyers have an appreciation for the amount of information their lenders will require throughout the closing process. As I mentioned, the real estate transaction is a complex process. In turn, sellers are often caught off-guard when there are delays in the process.

What is something about buying or selling a home in North Carolina that most people aren't aware of that they should know?

Federal regulations of the mortgage industry have increased considerably. Technology helps realtors, closing attorneys, and other vendors compensate for the increased regulation. However, a real estate closing is still a complex process that requires a good deal of professionalism and effort from all parties involved. While everyone involved in the process wants to close the transaction as quickly and smoothly as possible, speed often comes at the expense of accuracy.

What are one or two things that the seller can do to help make the home closing process easier?

The process almost always moves quicker and more smoothly if the seller is willing to provide the closing attorney with his/her title insurance policy and lender information at an early stage.

What are one or two things that the buyer can do to help make the home closing process easier?

Trust the process. If you have a good lender, good realtor, and good closing attorney, you are in a great position. While an issue may arise in your closing that is new to you, chances are pretty good that the professionals you hired have confronted and overcome the same issue a number of times in the past.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your firm?

Email is always quickest because we can respond any time of the day or night. Our firm's website has links to our contact information. We pride ourselves on keeping a human being as our receptionist so you will almost always speak to a live person when you call our firm.

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About The Author

Darin Meece was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He grew up in Durham and attended the...

Phone: 919-401-5913 ext. 229

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