North Carolina

The South Mountain Group offers services specific to the State of North Carolina. This page details those services.  Note, NC is an attorney state and all abstracting, title opinions, property reports or other information used to enduce  the sale of title insurance by SMG, as well as legal documents, are prepared by or supervised by independent licensed NC attorneys whom are in good standing with the state bar.  SMG does not offer its self as nor makes any representation to provide legal advise or counsel and all parties must seek their own independent legal counsel should they need the same.

Property Taxes:

Tax year: Yearly taxes are collected and due by September 1st. Interest begins accruing for all unpaid taxes on January 1st.

North Carolina Tax Collectors by County:

For our comprehensive list of North Carolina Tax Collectors, by county, with contact information for each, go to:

County Online Property Tax Information:

The majority of Counties in North Carolina provide online tax information, detailing current tax rates, due dates, and what taxes have been paid. Click here to see our list of Tax Collectors and view their online tax payment systems.

Payment of Property Taxes at Closing:

In refinances, most lenders require that taxes are current and up to date and all taxes due within 30-90 days of closing are collected and paid at closing.

The same is true for sales. Additionally, taxes for sales are prorated in such a manner that the seller will pay taxes through settlement, or credit the buyer with the same. From the date of settlement forward, the buyer shall pay taxes.

Be aware, that it can take up to two years for the new owners name to appear on tax bills. However, the purchaser is responsible for all taxes, and other county and state fees, such as water or sewer, from the date of closing. Likewise, all bills prior to closing remain the sellers responsibility.

Water/Sewer/Tax Liens/Etc. and Lien Certifications:

All closings involving properties with public bills being assessed to it, will be required to pay all such bills current through closing, by the seller, after which said bills will be the responsibility of the buyer. Were possible, these items are prorated on the HUD; in some situations, the seller must contact the county to advise of the pending transaction, and arrange for the change over and payment of final bills.

Failure to pay the above mentioned items in a timely manner can affect the final recording of the deed on the property.

Recording Fees:

Recording fees in North Carolina are based on the number of pages of the document. Generally, a deed will be two pages and cost $26.00 dollars to file. A deed of trust generally will be $56.00.

Because NC recording fees are set by the State General Assembly, they are fixed across the state:

Per North Carolina General Statute (laws of North Carolina) 161-10, the following fees are uniform across the entire State, excepting uncertified copies. These fees are set by the North Carolina General Assembly and not by the Register of Deeds or the County Commissioners, and are complete and exclusive and no other fee shall be charged by any Register of Deeds. These fees shall be collected in every case prior to filing, registration, recordation, verification, or other service rendered by the Register of Deeds unless otherwise noted by law.

North Carolina Fees Schedule Effective October 1, 2011

Recording Real Estate Instruments 
Deeds of trust and mortgages* $56.00 first 15 pages / $4 each add’l page
Instruments except deed of trust and mortgages $26.00 first 15 pages / $4 each add’l page
Plats $21.00 each sheet
Nonstandard document $25.00
Multiple instruments as one, each $10.00
Satisfaction instruments No fee
Add’l subsequent instrument index reference, each $25.00
 * to ensure proper GFE disclosure SMG charges a flat recording fee in NC of $105 per foward DOT and $190 to record the 2 reverse DOTs
UCC Records 
One or two pages in writing $38.00
More than two pages in writing $45.00 up to 10 pages / $2 each page over 10
Filed electronically if permitted $30.00
Response to written request for information $38.00
Response to electronically request if permitted $30.00
Copy of statement $2.00 each page
Excise Stamp Tax $ 1.00 on each $ 500.00 or fractional part thereof of the consideration of value of the interest being conveyed

North Carolina State Excise Tax (aka Stamps or Transfer Tax):

In sales, the State of North Carolina charges an excise tax for sales transactions based on the consideration. This fee is $1.00 per $500 dollars of consideration (the sales price). This is generally paid by the seller in North Carolina. There are no additional transfer taxes charged by the state nor county.

Determining Property Ownership:

Many North Carolina Register of Deeds Office provide links where recorded instruments can be viewed online. Click here for a link to NC’s Register/Recorder of Deeds by County. In North Carolina, a title exam used for a real estate transaction must be conducted under the supervision of a licensed independent North Carolina attorney.

North Carolina Title Insurance Rates:

Please see our GFE calculator by clicking  here , or it can be found under Resources.

1099 Reporting to the IRS:

At closing, the seller will review a Certification of No Information Reporting if the sale of their property results in proceeds of less than $250,000 as an individual or $500,000 if a married couple.

If the proceeds are higher than this, the seller may chose to have the title company report the 1099 filing to the IRS, or may elect, in writing, to have the tax accountant or attorney do their 1099 filing.

Investment Properties and Commercial Transactions:

If you are buying an investment or commercial property, please notify the title company prior to the document signing so we can help you meet all counties requirements regarding the same.

1031 Transactions:

If your property is going to be a part of a 1031 exchange, you must also notify the title company prior to the document signing. Failure to do so could result in transaction not going through an intermediary. Even the failure to correctly follow any of the required steps under the Federal Tax Law regarding 1031 Exchanges, will negate the transaction, and the tax benefits will no longer be available.

Further, a Qualified Intermediary will be provided. At The South Mountain Group, Inc. our intermediaries are all Certified Public Accountants, and will guide you step by step through the process.

Click here for more information about 1031 Exchanges.

Payoffs of Liens and Judgments:

All current liens against the property must be paid at closing to ensure the first position of your new lenders deed of trust. A title examination ensures that all recorded liens will be found, allowing us to collect for them, as well as to pay them off.

In some instances, the current liens are the expected deed of trusts, such as a first or second mortgage against the property.

Your current lender must provide a payoff. Some lenders will require a signed Release of Information from the borrower in order to provide the title company with this payoff.

You may be contacted to assist in obtaining a final payoff. Although rare, some lenders, contrary to the excepted practice and customary courtesies of most lenders today, will not cooperate in providing a third party with a payoff.

In those situations, you will be asked to contact the lender yourself, to ask for a payoff.

Payoffs are different from the principal balance of a loan in that a payoff includes any prepayment penalties, interest, and fees. A final payoff is a requirement of closing. Payoffs are requested to be good for a minimum of 10 days past your closing date.

Any additional liens found recorded against the property will also need to be collected and paid at closing. Again, you may be asked to provide specific information about any lien, in order for a proper and final payoff of the lien be obtained.

A judgment search is also run for borrowers and sellers and any judgments that affect or could affect the title to the property will be collected and paid at closing.

Recording a Deed in North Carolina:

The South Mountain Group’s Settlement Agents for Sales Transactions walk through a NC deed immediately after closing (or the next business day, in the event of an evening or weekend closing).  All deeds in NC are prepared by Independant NC Attorneys. These attorneys are responsible for providing a recordable, legally enforcable document that is acceptable for recording, once live funds have been verified.

North Carolina Good Funds Settlement Act (requirments can be found at the following link)  determines the responsiblities of various parties in the transaction.

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