GAR Changes on Closing Costs – Part III Who Does the Closing Attorney Represent?

The standard contract used by licensed real estate brokers and agents is the form provided by the Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR) and known as the GAR Contract. This form is tweaked from year to year to clarify any terms that may have caused confusion in the past.  

In the 2021 GAR contract, the closing attorney represents the Buyer’s lender at closing. This may sound strange.  In representing the lender, the closing attorney must make sure the title is conveyed properly and the lender has a valid encumbrance on the property.  Part of this process is making sure a good title is conveyed to the Buyer, and that the Buyer understands the loan terms and documents. If there is no lender, the closing attorney then represents the Buyer.  The 2023 GAR contract clarifies this paragraph to limit that representation to clearing title and conducting the closing.

John C. Bennett is a real estate closing attorney and owner of Origin Title and Escrow, Inc.. Since 2003, Origin Title has handled real estate transactions – purchases, refinances, reverse mortgages – quickly and professionally. There will be no surprises, nothing misunderstood. Title searches are thorough and well-reasoned, to avoid unpleasant surprises later down the road. Calculate your closing costs in Georgia or Florida using our calculator or contact Origin Title using this form.