The process for real estate closings in Ohio depends on what part of Ohio you are closing in. If you are closing in Columbus, Ohio, you are going to do a roundtable closing. A roundtable closing is where everyone actually meets at a table and signs documents, and the closing actually occurs right at the title company.
In other parts of Ohio, you might do an escrow closing where people never meet each other, or the people come at different times and sign off on documents.
You can certainly have an escrow closing in Columbus, Ohio if you demand it. But more typically it’s a roundtable closing which gives you more protection.
Q: Is one type of closing better than the other?
As mentioned above, what happens in Columbus, Ohio is the roundtable closing. We attempted unsuccessfully to get escrow closings back in the 1990’s when one of the founders of this law firm was the chairman of the real property committee. The realtors, particularly, wanted to keep the roundtable closing for their various reasons.
This creates a title insurance issue because, as a title insurance policy is written, there is no title insurance coverage between the time of the closing and the time of the recording of the deed. So, what we do is we have the title company remove certain exceptions from the title commitment to give our clients more protection during that “gap,” which is the time between the roundtable closing and the time that the title company finally gets down to the courthouse and files the documents.
Not all real estate attorneys require the title insurance company to provide this additional coverage as we do, and if a buyer does not have an attorney, no one else will ask for it. But the “gap” problem is real, so it is very important to have a real estate attorney from Columbus, Ohio who understands roundtable closing and can prepare for, and protect you from, the risks involved.
For example, in one recent closing for a business that was buying a commercial space for a restaurant, one of the restrictions we found in the title policy prohibited the sale of liquor. That provision should not have been added to the policy and fortunately, we were there to have the title company remove it.
Learn more about real estate in Columbus, Ohio.