May Agent Sign Closing Disclosure on Client’s Behalf?

QUESTION: I’m the listing agent on a property that has been sold and is about to close.  The seller will be out of the country on the Settlement Date.  May I sign the Closing Disclosure on the seller’s behalf?

ANSWER: The law permits an agent to sign a document on his principal’s behalf with proper authority.  Therefore, if duly authorized by the seller, you could sign the Closing Disclosure.  However, we don’t recommend it except when absolutely necessary because of potential liability.  If you are going to sign the Closing Disclosure, we recommend for your own protection that you first have specific written authority to do so from the seller, that you go over the final numbers with the seller, and that you have something in writing documenting the fact that you went over the numbers with the seller.  This advice would go for any document that you might sign on a client’s behalf, not just a Closing Disclosure.

Some lenders require that a power-of-attorney be signed by the principal before an agent may sign the Closing Disclosure on the principal’s behalf.  Thus, you should find out whether the lender in your closing has any such requirement.

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