Can the Seller Give Power of Attorney at the Closing?

By Anna Assad

A real estate seller may give another person power of attorney before or during the deal's closing. The power of attorney document allows the person, known as the agent, to act for the seller during the sale. The agent signs papers for the sale, such as the deed, in place of the seller. While a seller giving a power of attorney for a closing isn't unusual, there are some matters to consider.

Closing

A seller may give another person a power of attorney for the closing. The seller and agent sign the power of attorney in front of a notary public and file it in the county land records. Filing the power of attorney in the county land records serves as evidence of the agent's legal right to sign for the seller. The seller may have the power of attorney prepared and notarized beforehand so she doesn't have to come to the closing; the agent attends the closing for her and brings the original power of attorney. The original power of attorney is still filed in the county land records, often at the same time as the other documents from the sale, such as the new deed.

Limits

A seller may give another person power of attorney to sign real estate documents and perform banking transactions in general. However, she might also choose to allow the agent to handle documents and banking for a specific property sale only. If the seller wants to restrict her agent's powers to one deal only, she must include this limit on the power of attorney. For example, she might add, "Only for the sale of [property address]" after the section giving the agent authority to sign real estate documents on the original power of attorney.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now

Considerations

An improperly made or incomplete power of attorney may delay a home sale closing if the seller isn't there. Without a valid power of attorney, the closing professionals and attorneys involved won't accept sale documents signed by the agent. If the seller named more than one person as agent and stated that either may act alone, either agent can sign documents at closing. However, if the seller specified the agents must act together, both agents have to sign the sale documents.

Death of Seller

A power of attorney ends as soon as the giver, or principal, dies. The closing will fall through if seller dies before the agent signs all the closing documents or the documents are filed in the land records. The seller's estate becomes responsible for the property upon the seller's death, and any documents the agent signed must be redone.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
How to Revoke Durable Financial Power of Attorney in Ohio
 

References

Related articles

Can a Person Give or Turn Over Her Power of Attorney to Someone Else?

Although a power of attorney involves two persons, it is not a contract and can be unilaterally revoked. The person making the document, termed the principal, uses the power of attorney to name an agent to act for her. A competent principal is free to revoke that authority at any time and confer it on another agent. The person named as agent can also decline to serve but cannot give or transfer her authority under the power of attorney to another.

Can a Power of Attorney Get a Home Loan?

If you aren’t able to personally accomplish a task, you may grant someone else – called your agent – the power to do it for you. This permission can include things like accessing your bank accounts, selling a vehicle, purchasing property or getting a home loan. In fact, your power of attorney can grant your agent authority to conduct nearly any type of real estate transaction you could conduct.

Iowa Power of Attorney Rules

Many people may need to use a power of attorney at some time during their lives, either for a limited time or for an extended period. Powers of attorney generally deal with financial or health care matters. They transfer control of one person's affairs to another, trusted individual. The person who grants the power of attorney is known as the principal and the person who accepts the authority is known as the attorney in fact or agent.

Related articles

Selling Property & Limited Power of Attorney

Generally, a power of attorney document gives authority to another person, known as your agent or attorney-in-fact, to ...

Assuming a Mortgage With Power of Attorney

While state laws regarding powers of attorney vary, a power of attorney can allow one person to conduct financial ...

Can You Sell a Home With a Power of Attorney?

Depending on state laws, powers of attorney can give an agent broad powers over someone’s finances and property. With a ...

Can a POA Change a Will?

A power of attorney allows a person, referred to as an agent or attorney at law, to act on behalf of another person, ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED