Taxes paid at a Georgia Closing – no rocket science

In Georgia there are 3 kinds of taxes than can be paid at closing. The first one is the property taxes. These can be city, county of both, depending on where the property is located. For a transaction closing February 3 where the tax bill does not come out until September, the seller would pay the buyer for her share of the taxes from January 1 to February 3. This is called tax proration. When the tax bill comes out later in the year, the buyer is responsible for paying the full amount, since the seller already paid the prorated amount to the buyer.

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Do I need to do Radon Testing When Buying a House?

In most places radon testing is not part of a professional home inspection. If you want it done, you have to pay separately for that type of inspection. And, to be honest, in the 8 years that I have been doing real estate in the Central Savannah River Area, I have never had a single client do radon testing. In other areas of the country,on the other hand, it is part of every transaction. When I recently helped my mother-in-law sell her house in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I learned that radon testing is done there as a matter of course.

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What? I have to pay $10,000 to sell my house?

I have heard this more than once. I, personally, don’t think it is a good idea to sell a house if you have to come to the closing table with $10,000. This is happening more and more to people who bought their houses a few years prior to the market crash in 2008. They bought high and now may have to sell for lower. They may have only put down 3.5% for a down payment, or 0%, if they did a VA or a USDA loan. Now they may be selling for the amount they bought or a bit less and they have to pay a 6% or 7% commission. They are stunned when they realize how much they will have to pay to sell.

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Don’t Pay More than the House is Worth!

Real estate contracts often have contingencies – a contingency defines a condition or action that must be met in order for a real estate contract to become binding. These must be fulfilled in order for a contract to continue and go to closing. Contracts will often have a financing contingency, where the buyer is given the chance to apply and be approved for a loan. If the buyer is unable to secure financing, the financing contingency lets the buyer out of the contract. Without such contingency, the buyer would be forced to buy, even if he could not get a loan.

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