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ALTA Explained


ALTA settlement statements may appear confusing at first, but don’t worry, they are much simpler than they appear. Alta settlement statements are specifically designed to organize the property selling process. It has a breakdown of costs and columns for both the buyer and seller.

While this document doesn't typically need to be notarized, you will still be expected to make sure that it is properly filled out.

What is the ALTA settlement statement?

The ALTA settlement statement is an itemized list of all of the fees or charges that the buyer and seller will pay during the settlement portion of a real estate transaction. Everything from the sale price, loan amounts, school taxes and other pertinent information is contained in this document.
The statements are provided to brokers and agents on both the buying and selling ends of the transaction.

During a signing, the buyers and sellers will both need to sign the signature addendum at the tail end of the ALTA as shown below.

As the notary, if signers ask specific questions regarding something on the ALTA it is best to refer them to the associated party. It's ok to not know specifics. You can guide them to where the information is within the document, but make sure you are not overstepping your role. I will explain to them that as the notary I can't really do anything aside from verify the signers and direct them to the professionals who would be good to ask.

Here are some common questions and a good generalized response or who to refer them to:

Why is ( insert a fee) here?
That is a great question for either the Realtor or the Title Agent.

Is the insurance for this prorated?
That would be a good question for title, as the notary I'm not familiar with any of the specifics.

When will I get the keys to the property?
Your realtor will be able to tell you that.

When will my funds be dispersed?
It depends on a lot of factors like settlement date and if there's any loose ends. If you call the title company they should be able to tell you when to expect funds.

Updated on: 11/04/2023

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