Demystifying Real Estate Closings: Insights from Joe O'Kelley
-This is a transcript from Go Gaddis Radio to listen to the episode click here-> https://on.soundcloud.com/9NXkQ
Welcome back to Go Gaddis Real Estate Radio right here on AM nine 20. The Answer. I'm Cleve Gaddis, and I am joined on the line for this segment by Joe O. Kelly. Of O' Kelly and Sohan closing attorneys right here in Metro Atlanta. We're gonna talk about the closing process. If you're a first time home buyer and you're a little intimidated by what you might experience, no worries, we'll take care of that.
We're gonna discuss why we close with real estate attorneys in the state of Georgia, and we're gonna talk about some interesting fraud that's been taking place in transactions in the state of Georgia. Don't forget, we want to connect with you and it is easy. You can go to go gaddis radio.com. That's G O G A D D I S radio.com.
You can ask questions, then we answer on air or off air. You can make comments, you can push back or challenge anything we say. You can share your ideas, you can request your neighborhood Be featured in our neighborhood spotlight and you can subscribe to our podcast. One of our longest standing guests is Joe o' Kelly.
He's been with the show since we first started back in 2013. Can you imagine, Joe? That's been a long time. Welcome. How are you, sir? I'm good. I'm feeling older. I got a birthday tomorrow, so it's just gonna keep reminding me. Well, happy birthday every time we meet. It's another year. Happy birthday in advance.
I think there's something to marching it forward, moving forward. I know that your, your, your family situation is kind of like mine. You've got a daughter gonna be getting married soon. You might have grandbabies like Mr. Gaddes. And so, you know what, uh, it's, uh, it's always. A little concerning as I get a little bit older, but there's a lot more exciting things going on.
Joe, you, I say when I, when I mentioned you sponsor the show that you have 26 offices throughout Metro Atlanta. How many do you have today? Is that still about right? That's, I guess that's about right. I don't, we haven't closed any and getting ready to open up a couple more. I mean, you gotta go. I always tell people about 20 minutes apart from your other office, nobody's gonna drive to you.
Right? Because even if you're the best burger in the world, If you're not nearby, it ain't, you know, nobody's gonna drive too far. So that is totally true. I am one of those exceptions because you've got an office right around the corner from my office. But if ever I'm going to a closing, I want to come to the main office where I was so accustomed to coming for.
Well, I like that for all those years. No, I en I enjoy it. Totally. Okay, so, um, If, if you are a first time home buyer, just pretend you were a first time home buyer, right? What would you want to tell that first time home buyer about the closing process? So that, number one, they were relaxed through the process and number two, you know, they felt like they could ask questions or whatever they needed to do to make sure they were fully educated.
'cause I, I believe, Sometimes first time home buyers come in and they're like a deer in the headlights and they're just signing whatever's putting in front of them and, and it's probably okay, but I would assume sometimes, uh, they would like to know a little bit more. So tell us, tell us what first time home buyers need to know.
First time home buyer is different from somebody, obviously that is sort of, uh, sold a bunch of houses. That's right. Or. Bought other. Right. Jumping in the river. They're just floating down that river with everybody. And so exactly what you were saying. But if they get nervous or they have questions, you know they're gonna be contacted usually by their lender.
Yep. And followed. And they're following the lender and they're following the agent. If they get like, okay. Let me put my feet down and sort of figure out what's going on. They can always talk to what we call our pre-close. So we'll get that order, that contract, we'll open it up and we'll send them some information and we'll send 'em a link to give us their information, right?
But then if they are interested, and I always encourage this, call the pre-close, right? Or say I'd like to talk to one of the attorneys that's gonna close the transaction. And so then you can ask your questions to the attorney and you'll get a comfortable feeling as far as what to expect. And then on a first time home buyer, I really want you to pay attention to if you're, you got a wire in the money if it's over 5,000, right?
And I want you to make a phone call independently, not somebody giving you a phone number independently. Look us up on the web, find our number, call us and say, Hey, let me read these wire instructions that I had gotten. And so, Oh, that's the really. You know, the scariest thing to me is that, which sort of leads into our later discussion, it's this whole fraud thing that's going on.
So when you, when you get ready, when the whole process starts with a closing attorney, you have what's called a pre-loss. They would know that, for example, this pre-loss name is Kim, and they would know how to reach her because, or Kim or, or him. And, and, you know, um, uh, they could communicate via email.
Certainly, uh, send, um, Um, you know, faxes if you need to. I don't know that you would need to, but call 'em on the phone. And I, I love that if you have questions, start with your lender. If it's about mortgage, then feel free to put pressure on your agent, then go to your pre-loss, and if you have real questions, really about.
How's the closing process gonna work and how I'm, how am I gonna get titled to the property? How do I know I'm gonna own that property? Then? That's something that should be reserved for a closing attorney, and I love the suggestion of, make sure you verify wiring instructions. I know and have copies of your wiring instructions from before.
I still do not wire money today without talking to someone because I don't know if you remember, but several years ago we had a guest on who wired $450,000 to fraudsters in Africa because they. Uh, spoofed or whatever you call the agent's email address. Right. And added a few little characters at the end and they sent different wiring instructions and I think Bank of America wind up having to give some of that money back.
But anyway, quite amazing. Well, I think just so you, uh, the email and goes back and forth. Yep. And if you never are talking to somebody on the phone, it's really easy just to Somebody takes your email. Yeah, they control it. They re-wrap up whatever we send. So if we send it to you or. To anybody in the process, agents or anyone, and they grab it.
Alter it and then it looks like it came from us again. Right. It's terrible. We won't send instructions by the way, in email. No. So in fact, I noticed when I do get any kind of, uh, sensitive information, now it's sending a secure thing. So I have to be able to. I don't know, remember if I had a password or what to be able to get in and get documents, but it was, it was, it was certainly protected.
So that is great advice, Joe. If somebody wants to reach o' Kelly and Sohan, you've got offices everywhere, they can look you up and just Google o' Kelly and Sohan. Or you can just write down this number, 7 7 0 4 9 7 1 8 8 0. That's their main office. If you're in Acworth or you're in Stockbridge, they'll get you connected with the closest office.
Um, I only close with other. Firms, Joe, when I don't have any option. If I'm buying from a, from an investor and they require me to close somewhere, but I've done all of my closings with your firm. Well, thank you. I closed all my refinances and I, and I plan to continue to do that. So why do we close with closing attorneys in Georgia?
I think there's six or seven, eight states. I don't remember what the total number is, uh, where you have to close with a closing attorney. And so why do you have to close with an attorney in Georgia instead of a title company? You know, there are six attorney states. Some people do say a Okay. And, uh, it's basically the law.
Yeah. So yeah, a closing attorney has to transfer the property. Right. That's transferring the deed. Right. So they're also supposed to be in charge. There's several Supreme Court opinions that tell us we're supposed to be in charge of the entire process, which means in control of the process. And then we adopt whatever work has done with work.
They still have to bring it in and control it, right? And so if you're responsible and you control, it's not just the ceremony. That's where people get confused. The ceremony is one in a string of, of transaction or strings of, you know, items that need to be accomplished. Pre-closing, closing disbursement, recording.
And so the ceremony is small, but, and people confuse that, oh, we'll do everything and let a closing attorney just close it and. That also is illegal. People just don't understand it. Oh, okay. So, and when you say ceremony, you mean when everybody comes together at the same table for a closing, which by the way, doesn't happen in a lot of states.
When I was in Illinois and I had an attorney, the seller had, or I, I had an attorney as a seller, buyer, had an attorney, we closed at another office. I don't remember what the attorney's fees were. They were like $4,000 worth of attorney's fees. And I never saw the, uh, the home seller when I bought the home and the home buyer when I, when I actually sold the home there.
So it's a different process. I like what you call the ceremony in Georgia because it really allows kind of an emotional handoff in some cases from the seller to the buyer. And, and a lot of people, they like to buy a houseware that feels like it has good mojo and they like to, you know, the sellers like to give it to somebody who's gonna carry on the good mojo.
And I know that sounds really. Silly, but it's true. Well, there's a really a legal reason behind it. We're supposed to, in the East coast, we call it East Coast funding or wet funding. Okay. And so most of the other states have escrow funding or escrow closings. It's like a checklist. Imagine you've got six things to do.
Oh, buyer signs. Yeah. Oh, seller signs. Oh, I record the doc. Oh, I do this. And at the very end, okay, three days later we'll fund it. Right? Yeah. Or five days or whatever. Well, we bring everybody together because we're supposed to wet fund it, meaning it's in our hands. Yep. We're cutting checks. We're sending out wires.
It all happens like crash course, but it's good. Because everybody does see each other like what you're saying. I like that. You know, Joe, uh, that's the first time I've actually thought about that being the reason In most states, you know, you're it, you put it in escrow and it just sort of pops out the other end whenever it does.
And in Georgia, we know that date we come together. And technically the title's transferred to the buyer, even though it's not recorded that that very day. And so that's such an interesting comment. Oh, actually it's getting recorded nowadays. On that day. On that day, okay. Got it. Yeah. Well, that's true. I forgot that.
With electronic, we've only got about a minute and a half left. I have, okay. I've taken most of the segment talking about other stuff. Tell us about what's going on with fraud in real estate transactions. Well, we know wire fraud has been terrible. We've always heard that. And so, These emails back and forth, pick up the phone and call.
Yeah. We actually text wiring information, so we're gonna send you a text. Okay. Which is safer of what we do if we send it to the wrong place and send a password to the wrong place. That's terrible. Yeah. So call. Yep. Pick over the phone. You want it in a text. The real new thing that's going on 10 times this month, we have had agents or just buyers and sellers come to us and the seller is totally fraudulent.
It's usually vacant land, but it. Just last week it was a house and nobody's around. Somebody figures it out and they start bringing it to the table. They offer it to somebody. Um, they come in, they give 'em money. I. That money's gonna be gone. If we didn't catch it, more money would be gone. Totally. So that is a big thing.
Totally. And I would assume, uh, it's, you're catching it because you have to get proof of who they are before they can sign and stuff like that. But that's a scary thing when you think about it. Somebody who doesn't own something trying to sell it to you. And you can give 'em money and not own a thing in the world.
Hey Joe, thank you very much for taking your time on a Saturday morning to be on, uh, this show and we will have you back more often. I sometimes go, all right, let's do that. I sometimes go ran too long. No, no. We are so, so good. We're gonna take a break when we come back. Three D printed homes, are they a real thing?
And then what's in the future for three D printed homes? We've got those subjects and more. Stick with us. We'll be back.