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Milwaukee-Area Closing Customs

Wisconsin is nominally a “table funding” state, although the table is now generally virtual.  All documents required for closing are executed and delivered to escrow, funds are disbursed at the time of closing, and recording is handled upon completion of the transaction. The seller brings clear title, the buyer brings money, and both leave the closing table with what the other person brought to the table.

Commercial transactions are closed in conformity with the requirements of a Purchase and Sale Agreement, generally a contract between the parties to the real estate transaction, accompanied by closing instructions prepared by the attorneys representing the parties.

A Title Commitment is prepared by the title company, listing the requirements which must be met in order for the title insurer to issue a policy, as well as the exceptions from coverage.  Most transactions, and particularly commercial transactions, engage a representative of the title company (the “closer” or “escrow officer”) to collect and record the Documents of Conveyance and Documents Securing Debt prepared by the attorneys for the parties and the lender or lender’s counsel.

Closing Documents

The following documents are typically required for closing:

  • W-9 or 1099 for Federal Taxes
  • Settlement Statement
  • Title Affidavit and Indemnity
  • Notarized Bill of Sale
  • Electronic Real Estate Transfer Return (
  • Conveyance Deed
  • Mortgage
  • Resolutions and Statements of Authority for business entities

Costs and Charges

The seller typically pays for the cost of the Owner’s policy of title insurance, special assessment and utility searches, and the Real Estate Transfer Fee, while the buyer pays for the Lender’s policies, most endorsements for the Owner’s policy, all endorsements required by the lender, and the cost of recording the loan documents.

Closing costs are allocated between the parties to the transaction pursuant to the terms of the contract.  Almost all commercial transactions involve attorneys representing the parties and the lender. While negotiable, the costs are typically split as follows:


Typically paid by

Owner’s Policy and Endorsements Seller / Buyer
Assessment Search Fees Seller
Loan Policy and Endorsements Buyer or Borrower
Real Estate Taxes Seller and Buyer
Transfer Tax Seller
Mortgage Registration Tax (MRT) Not Applicable
Closing Costs Pursuant to the terms of the contract, but often split
Recording Fees Seller is generally responsible for deed; Buyer is responsible for mortgage(s)

Time and Place of Closing

Most commercial transactions are concluded without the parties meeting together, generally requiring the closer to coordinate receiving the documents from the parties and counsel and distributing and disbursing as necessary. Documents are prepared, signed, and held in escrow by the title company until all requirements are completed and the requisite amount of good funds have been provided to the title company to be disbursed.  Recording commences upon completion of the closing.

Recording Fees

Recording fees in Wisconsin are $30 per document. Complete recording information for all counties in the state is available on the Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association website (

UCC’s may be recorded with the Register of Deeds for the county, and/or with the Secretary of State, depending on the personal property type.

Electronic recording is available. All recordings handled by the Milwaukee NCS office will have a recording service fee to defray e-recording costs.

Post Closing

Post-closing escrows are commonly held by the title company pursuant to a written agreement among the parties and the title company.

The title policy is issued upon recordation of the documents and the satisfaction of all outstanding requirements.

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