Brian M. Douglas & Associates, LLC.

General FAQs


Q: What is real estate law?
A: A branch of law that protects buyers, sellers, agents, and all involved with real estate transactions. Practice areas include but are not limited to: sales, purchases, other transfers of property, rental property and landlord issues, title issues, zoning and land use, and much more. Real Estate Laws differ from state to state.
Q: Why do I need to hire a real estate attorney?
A: Neither buying nor selling a house is easy. There are a lot of grounds to cover… literally. From both the buyer end and the seller end, there are a lot of different things that need to be done and documents to be signed to make sure things go smoothly and as planned. A real estate attorney knows what to look for and they know what to do when a complex situation arises. Georgia is a state that requires you to hire a real estate attorney to facilitate the closing.
Q: Who gets to choose the closing attorney?
A: Give us a call.
Q: What are some important steps to take before closing on a home?
A: Some important steps to take before closing on a home:

  • Title Search – Find out who is on the title now and who has been on it previously. You will also find out if there are any issues (lien, mortgage, judgement) that may cause you trouble when transferring the title.
  • Home Inspection – this will give you an idea about the condition of your home and if there are any issues that you need to be aware of or anything that may need to be fixed.
  • Closing Costs – Know what your closing costs are going to be and prepare for them financially.

Q: What are some important steps to take when selling a home?
A: Some important steps to take when selling a home:

  • Disclosure Statement – Prepare a disclosure statement, detailing any issues with the property. Discuss with your attorney what does and doesn’t need to be disclosed.
  • Appraisal – Have the home appraised to find out it’s worth.
  • Mortgage Payoff– Check with your lender to find out the payoff of your current mortgage.

Q: What Can affect the title of my home?
A: Foreclosures, bankruptcy, descendant’s debts, mortgages, taxes, and more.
Q: Why is title insurance important?
A: Title insurance protects real estate owners and lenders against financial loss from defects in the title. Unlike other insurances, health, car, life, etc., title insurance protects against things relating to the property and the owners that have happened in the past. Also unlike other insurances, title insurance is paid one time at the closing, not monthly or annually. It’s important because it protects you if title issues come about in the transaction. These possible issues could cost you the house if they aren’t taken care of ahead of time.
Q: What is a disclosure statement and why is it important?
A: As a seller, you must provide a disclosure statement detailing certain defects and other information about the property. For buyers, disclosure statements serve the purpose of informing them, a kind of heads-up. For the sellers, these statements protect them against possible future legal action. Not all states have the same rules and regulations when it comes to disclosing. It’s important to do your research and speak with an attorney about what needs to be disclosed and what doesn’t.
Q: What is the “closing”?
A: A final meeting of all parties involved in the real estate transaction. Documents are signed to transfer the title to the new buyers. There are usually 3 behind-the—scenes steps for a real estate attorney during closing: Pre-closing, closing, and post-closing.
Q: When Should I first consider refinancing?
A: Ideally, you will want to think about refinancing if you can get a lower interest rate and better terms to pay off your mortgage.Calculate the break-even point to decide whether a refinance makes sense for you.If you don’t plan on staying in your home for very long, then refinancing might not make much sense for you.

There are many other factors to consider before refinancing your home:

  • Current Interest Rate
  • Closing Costs
  • Credit Score & History
  • Income & Debt
  • Loan Term
  • Mortgage Prepayment Penalty
  • Adjustable-Rate or Balloon Mortgage

Q: What is a Transfer Tax?
A: A transfer tax is the fee charged when a title is being passed from one person to another. Each state charges a different amount. Georgia’s transfer tax is currently at a fee of $0.10 / $100 at a rate of 0.1%.
Q: What are the different types of property ownership?
A: Sole Ownership, Tenants in Common, Joint tenancy, Tenancy by the Entirety, Community Property, Trusts.
Q: How is it that I owe taxes on property that I don’t own anymore?
A: The amount of tax you owe and what you pay taxes on is based on the assessed value of the tangible personal property you owned on January 1 of that year. So, if you owned the property on January 1, you are responsible for the ad valorem tax for the year, even if you sell the property.

Brian M. Douglas, Esq.

Get your questions answered - Feel free to call us for consultation (770) 933-9009

Areas We Serve

We can serve clients in every county within the State of Georgia, and a majority of the areas we serve are: Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Forsyth County, Cherokee County, Douglas County, Paulding County, Carroll County, Bartow County, Hall County, Barrow County, Walton County, Newton County, Rockdale County, Henry County, Clayton County, Fayette County, Spalding County, and Coweta County.