Here is a question from one of my Clients about purchasing a house using a kitchen table closing. My quick answer … Beware!
Q: Hi Lou, I have a property under contract that I want to resell / flip as-is to a rehabber / renovator, but I may have to purchase it quickly and simply record the Quit Claim Deed, without using a closing attorney or waiting for a title exam. I need your advice.
The seller just called me and left a message on my voice mail stating she did not want to sell to me because she received a better offer. Now I do have it under contract, with a signed purchase and sales agreement from her, and I had her sign a Quit Claim deed, too. I did that because she was fighting with her sister over ownership of this property, which was given to her by her mom who passed away 2 years ago. The deed is in her name alone, not the sister's, mom's or anyone else. I did see the deed and made a copy of it.
I thought I should get the Quit Claim Deed (QCD), just in case I needed to record it because of the family issues. The Seller agreed as well. She said she just wanted to get rid of this property. I also filed at the courthouse an Affidavit for the property showing I had it under contract, as you recommend. I'm in the process of getting a title check done by my title company.
Now what do you recommend I do? Should I go back to the courthouse and record the QCD or wait until the title search is complete to record the deed; or should I walk away, or should I choose to wait and schedule an attorney to do the closing?
Thank you, G.
A: Hi G., what you're describing is a little risky, yet it's done fairly often as is commonly referred to as a "kitchen table closing" since they are literally often closed right in the seller kitchen. It's a VERY good idea to get title exam run first, before doing a "kitchen table closing" especially if you are giving any money to the Seller.
Normally I wouldn't recommend you do your own closing, but since you're rushing your purchase so you can "preserve" your deal before the other Buyer moves in and buys it, and / or before the sister does anything rash … just be sure that the transaction has been up front, and that you truly intend to move forward as you agreed. I think that I would go ahead and file / record the QCD. I don't see that you have anything to lose, and a lot to gain.
I would then inform the seller that she can not sell to anyone else because she already has a binding agreement to sell to you, and that you already "technically" own the house (since you recorded the QCD). Let her know …