Closing or Escrow in South Carolina

What occurs at closing? 

Shortly before closing, the attorney distributes a closing statement (HUD) to all parties involved in the real estate transaction.  This document itemizes all seller and all buyer costs.  Your agent at Homes in the Piedmont will review the document, discuss it with you, and notify the attorney of any changes or corrections.  Buyer's will also have received a Truth in Lending statement from their Mortgage Lender, and the costs shown on the HUD will be reviewed by the lender to ensure they are correct.

Closings are typically held in the attorney's office with buyers, sellers, and their respective agents in attendance.  The attorney briefly explains the process, his or her role, and paperwork follows. The attorney will use the closing statement to explain each line item and the respective cost to the buyer and the seller.  Expect to sign a number of documents including mortgage paperwork, the closing statement, etc. at lightning speed.  Feel free to ask for clarification as needed. 

Title insurance is issued and paid once, at closing, typically by the buyer.  Title insurance is required and covers and protects the lender.  Title insurance is also available to protect you.  We recommend the coverage, available at an additional one time payment.  

York county taxes are assessed at 4% for an individual's primary residence.  A homestead exemption is also available for persons over age 65.  However, the county will assess the property at 6% unless the proper paperwork is completed AFTER closing.   When you have your new address on your drivers license, complete the property tax form and ensure it arrives and is processed at the York County (or Lancaster County where applicable) courthouse.  The attorney will provide a copy of the form, but it is your responsibility to complete and file the appropriate document.  To check the status of your paperwork, visit www.yorkcountygov.com (also available on our website).  Click Citizens Online Information, then Tax Information.  Input the tax map number on your mortgage and deed. 

Helpful Tips


PMI is a cost that lenders charge on mortgages that do not meet lender criteria for equity.  Typically it is charged and added to your monthly payment until the home has appreciated or a down payment is made to represent 20% equity or more.  Many lenders calculate equity based on the original balance, ignoring home improvements and market value appreciation.  Your home loan must also reflect 24 months of on-time monthly payments to meet most mortgage lender requirements. 

Lenders do not removie PMI unless you take action to have it removied, but many lenders allow its removal when equity criteria are met.   If you feel you can meet lender criteria, feel free to check out comparable listings on our website, www.HomesInThePiedmont.com.  This may help you determine a probable value range for your home.  If you believe your home has appreciated substantially, call us and we will be happy to give you an idea of market value.  If it is close, order an appraiser ($300+) and submit the appraisal to your lender.  Check with your lender for details, as they vary.

Paying your loan off early You may pay a 30 year loan off in approximately 18 years if you pay the equivalent one extra principal payment a year.  Check the amortization schedule from your lender.  Using this method also increases equity, but you may be bound to a higher payment.

Elaine Whitton Davis
Elaine Whitton Davis
Your York County SC Real Estate Experts