Some closings are just complicated, even if it's a cash sale. In May, First Title Real Estate, LLC had the opportunity to close a property owned by 3 elderly heirs who are from and live in Germany. I didn't think it would be a problem. (first problem, "I didn't think"!) In reviewing the purchase agreement, there was a signature by someone who is not on title. Flag goes up! It turned out that it was a son who had power of attorney for his mother. OK, I need to see a copy BUT, of course, it's in German. Not gonna do any of us any good. I send a specific POA for her to sign and assumed all would be well. Sounds ok so far. (I know, I ASSUMED)
I do some research on the requirements for notarization of the documents outside of the USA and learn they must be notarized by a US Consular notary, not a local German notary. The US Consular's offices throughout Germany are few. There is going to be some traveling necessary for all parties to sign the documents. This does not make the heirs happy BUT it is the correct and only way to get this done and issue title insurance.
Further communication with the attorneys in Germany reveal that one of the heirs passed away last October. No one bothered to tell the real estate agent or the local attorney who handled the succession (probate) putting the 3 heirs in possession of the property. Now we have to open an ancilliary succession to put the deceased's heirs into possession of the property. I can hear y'all groaning!! I felt fortunate to have discovered his name was signed by one of his heirs.
Time inevitably passes and I get documents from one attorney and they are PERFECT!! The documents from the other attorney are not. They made the decision to use their German Power of Attorney and sent a translated copy. Their Power of Attorney only allows for the managment of the heir's home and another specific piece of property, identified by its recordation information, in Germany. Screeching halt!!
Immediately, I sent an email letting the attorney know the documents are not sufficient for the sale and it is imperitave that the heir either sign the POA I sent or all of the closing documents, before a Consular notary. They did eventually travel to the Consular's office and send the properly executed documents to me.
All of the hoops we Title Companies require sellers and buyers to jump through is to ensure the purchaser(s) have peace of mind and confidence in the ownership of their investment. Without all of the "I"s being dotted and "T"s crossed, I could not and would not insure this property.
The sale did finally close, international wires sent and everyone was happy!!
Technical closings are truly my favorite. I learn something new every time and they usually do close.
Now, I'm off to the next challenge!