Congratulations and thank you for allowing our firm to represent you in your purchase of the property. We look forward to working with you.
The purpose of this Engagement Letter is to set-out what you may expect throughout our representation. Our representation and the fee charged for our services are limited to conducting the title examination; reviewing the physical survey of the property, if engaged to do so timely; disbursement of settlement of funds; assuring the recording of all necessary documentation; and procuring the title insurance policies itemized on the settlement statement.
Should you wish our firm to provide additional services or represent you outside the scope of this Engagement Letter, we may charge separate fees for such services. Drafting company resolutions, powers of attorney, coordinating multiple signatories, and handling transactions in which rents are prorated are examples of services for which our firm will charge an additional fee.
Who We Represent:
South Carolina State law allows us to represent multiple parties in a real estate transaction as long as we believe we can provide competent and diligent representation to all parties and upon receipt of your written consent. In South Carolina, it is standard practice to represent multiple parties in a closing transaction. By signing the below, you acknowledge that Renger & Reynolds, PLLC, may act as the attorney for you, the Borrower/Buyer, as well as the Seller and Lender, and as the Agent for the title insurer (if applicable) in the above-referenced real estate transaction.
In conducting a title examination of the property, if our firm can locate an existing title insurance policy, we will “tack” to that prior policy. This means our title examination will begin with the date and time of issuance of that prior policy and we will not certify the status of title to the property prior to the date the prior policy was issued. While defects in title occurring prior to our search period would not be reported by us if we “tack”, any such defects would be covered by your title policy, so you will receive the same title insurance coverage as if we had conducted a full examination. It is standard practice for title insurance companies to issue title insurance policies based upon these types of limited title examinations.
Occasionally, our title examination may reveal minor defects in the title to the property. Many of these defects can be addressed by your title insurance policy. In these instances, your title insurance company will “insure over” these defects- meaning that the title insurance company deems the defects to present minimal risk. That is, you will be insured in the unlikely instance a claim arises from a defect in title. Obtaining an insurable title interest for a purchaser is a standard practice in residential real estate transactions in South Carolina. If you have any objections to receiving such an insurable title interest in the unlikely event of a minor title defect, please contact our firm immediately; otherwise, our firm will assume by your submitting to our ongoing representation that this standard practice us agreeable to you.
If our firm is unable to “tack” to a prior title insurance policy or you prefer our firm not conduct the abbreviated title search described above, our firm will conduct a full title examination (in excess of 40 years) at an additional cost.
While you are not required to obtain an owner’s policy of title insurance, our firm highly recommends such a policy for your protection. Unless you direct us otherwise, we will obtain a policy of title insurance on your behalf. The title insurance industry provides a number of products to you, its customer. We will obtain the customary enhanced policy of title insurance issued by your title company underwriter (when applicable). If you do not qualify for an enhanced title insurance policy, we will issue the standard policy of title insurance. Please note that our firm has a financial interest in the title agency/producer Park South Title, LLC. Unless instructed otherwise, we will issue all title policies via Park South Title, LLC. In addition, all owner’s title policies will be sent via email. By signing below, you acknowledge that Renger & Reynolds, PLLC may send your title insurance policy via email.
Matters Not Within the Scope of Representation
Our firm’s representation does not address the following matters: zoning ordinances and regulations; environmental hazards and issues; and septic and well water connections. Additionally, our firm does not review restrictive covenants pertaining to the subject property. The restrictive covenants and amendments thereto can be substantial, and you are encouraged to request a copy of these documents from your Seller and review them as part of your due diligence. Additionally, our firm does not review any documentation or advise as to whether properties may be owned as investment assets for rental purposes. Our firm does not opine on tax matters. Further, the firm does not review home inspection reports or matters disclosed by MLS or like services.
Physical Survey of Real Property
While a physical survey of the property is not required, our firm strongly advises our clients to obtain a new survey. A physical survey of the property will disclose many items, including but not limited to, the actual lot size and dimensions, building setback violations, access to rights-of-way, and adverse encroachments (such as driveway or fence improvements which overlap boundary lines). Our firm does not order or obtain surveys for clients, but we will review surveys for no charge or fee.
Buyer Funds to Close
Please note that all funds for closing must be wired to our real estate trust account with TowneBank. WE do not accept certified/cashier’s checks or ACH transfers. Be sure to verbally verify wiring instructions with an employee of our firm prior to initiating the funds transfer. BEWARE OF WIRE FRAUD SCAMS. Wiring instructions will always be sent by our firm by secure email and will never be revised.
Our firm will also provide final figures to all parties involved in the transaction. The settlement statement provided to all parties is specific to that transaction and contains non-public information. By acknowledging this engagement letter, you consent to our firm distributing copies of the settlement statement to parties as we deem necessary.
End of Representation
Please note that unless otherwise engaged or communicated, Renger & Reynolds, PLLC considers the representation relationship ending upon the first disbursement of settlement funds.
PLEASE NOTE: The title examination and preparation of closings documents is time consuming and a cost to our firm. By signing below, you affirm we may begin working on your file as soon as we receive the Contract from you or your agent. Therefore, we reserve the right to bill you for any and all work performed on your behalf, even if the transaction does not close.
Terms and Conditions Regarding an Earnest Money Deposit Held By Our Firm
If you or your agent direct Renger & Reynolds, PLLC to retain your Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) pursuant to the terms of your purchase contract, Renger & Reynolds, PLLC shall agree to such arrangement so long as you agree that should your transaction not close and you are entitled to a refund of the EMD, Renger & Reynolds, PLLC may deduct $250.00 from your EMD refund as payment for administrative and custodial fees, title examination expenses, and/or other services in conjunction with your representation. If you do not agree with the fee arrangement set out in this paragraph, contact us immediately so that we may begin the process of returning any EMD we are currently holding on your behalf.
Again, thank you for choosing Renger & Reynolds, PLLC . We look forward to working with you. Should you have any questions regarding the closing process, please do not hesitate to contact our office.