All Signals Go

It’s been a couple weeks since the last update and a month since I started this round of negotiating.  If all goes well, we will have this wrapped up this weekend and the countdown begins for move-out.  I expected it all to be done in a week.  Yeah, right.

Today, after a ridiculous series of document corrections and delayed responses eating up day after day, I visited the attorney’s office to do the signing.  This is the process that my co-owner and I are taking.  Of course some parts can vary, but this is one option.

I signed two copies of the quit claim deed and two copies of the contract.  The contract was just a signature; the deed was notarized with two witnesses.  These two originals are going to be overnighted to my co-owner’s attorney.  My co-owner will sign the deed with two witnesses and a notary and also sign the contract.  Then the papers will be brought back to me and together we will go through the house contents determining what stays and what goes.  When I get the fully signed deeds (yes, both) in hand, I hand over the check.  I get to keep one copy of the contract as does my co-owner.

I requested next Monday off work so I can do the final step of this process.  I will take both signed originals of the deed to the county clerk and have them “recorded”.  What happens is the clerk takes both copies of the deed and stamps them as recorded.  The clerk keeps one copy and I get one copy.  If my co-owner wants a copy of the recorded deed, that can be provided, but I keep the original forever.  So that’s why there are two originals of the deed.  Believe it or not, but you don’t have to record the quit claim deed with the county.  Why anyone wouldn’t do it is beyond me.  You’d be asking for a huge headache in title searching when you go to sell the property.

Also on Monday, I’ll contact the mortgager and find out what steps are needed to modify the mortgage.

Now, all that cost me $3000 just in attorney fees.  Could you do it yourself?  Absolutely.  The only thing this gained me with the deed drafting was a sense of propriety – the deed was pretty much a fill-in-the-blank form.  The contract being professionally prepared might be worth a little because self-authored contracts could have their wording picked apart in court and you could lose out.  The contract is the defense against someone claiming the quit claim deed was forced upon them.  The contract states what the person is receiving in return for the deed and that the transaction is voluntary.

Again, the process isn’t that important, but I gave it a lot more weight than it probably deserved.  At different points, I thought we would all meet together in a room and sign everything all at once, or that the documents would be emailed (or mailed) blank, mailed back signed, then I would sign them, and also sometimes I stuck a document review step in there.  I had no idea how to do the process effectively.  In the end, it doesn’t seem to matter.  All you need is an executed deed and a contract to cover your ass.  How you get there isn’t important.  We both chose to involve attorneys so that there would be uninvolved parties making sure neither of us got taken advantage of.  It’s costly protection, for sure.

If all goes well, next week is a fresh start and this blog will become what it was intended to be.  A home makeover documentarium.