By: Cara Dudek-Petri Gibbons


Closing on a home whether you’re the buyer or the seller, can seem like a daunting process. The amount of time and effort both sides put into it even before a contract is executed seems insurmountable. But for both parties, once the contract is executed and the time clock starts to closing is when the real work begins.

As the closing attorney, when we get the contract, we need a lot of information from both sides to even begin to work on the file. The contract provides us with the baseline and purchase terms, but there is so much more that we need to get everyone to the closing table. We call this initial process the “intake.” Every attorney handles intake differently, but we all need the same information. I promise you we’re not asking for anything that we don’t need. Our office tries to provide the most efficient and streamlined process for both buyers and sellers. Our intake is handled through a secure online portal. This is so the buyers and sellers can individually input their information without worry that their sensitive information, like social security numbers, is being intercepted via e-mail, taken down improperly over the phone, or mistakenly transposed when relayed to us through their real estate agent. All we need to provide access to this portal is the individual’s e-mail address.

Some attorneys will ask for intake to be completed on a PDF form or by other means. Regardless of how it is requested and provided, this information is pivotal to getting to the closing table. My pre-closers spend far too much time begging buyers and sellers to complete their intake. Believe us, if we could simply pull your full legal name, forwarding address, social security number, marital status, loan number, payoff amount, etc. on our own with a quick Google search, we most certainly would. But unfortunately, not only is that impossible, but if we could do that it would be terrifying. Also, we know that it is 2023. But even so, we do come across some buyers and sellers that do not have an e-mail address or feel comfortable completing their intake through our portal. Though we feel that our process is the most secure and highly encourage all buyers and sellers to use the portal, we are aware there will be a few outliers that just can’t. By addressing this concern early with our office, we can accommodate you or your clients if you just kindly let us know. We can and will find the most secure and efficient way to get what we need in order to close. We even still have a fax machine if that’s the only means your client feels comfortable with! 😉

Realtors, do you want to know the secret sauce to get your closing moving the most efficiently? Make sure to provide your client’s e-mail address to us when you send over the contract, and tell them to be on the lookout for our intake portal e-mails to start rolling in. By having your client know how important it is to address those task requests ASAP, will help us all get through this process with the least amount of hiccups. Nobody likes the call a week before closing saying we may not close on time because the seller refused to complete their intake and we’re unable to order the payoff. Help us help you! We all have the same goal and want closing to happen on time. Rest Easy knowing Jackson Law has your back and we’re all in this together!