Power of Attorney for Home Closing

A Texas Real Estate Power of Attorney [POA] is used when a property owner needs to buy or sell property but cannot attend the closing in person.  

There are two parties to any Power of Attorney for a home closing or other real estate transaction:

  • Principal – The person signing the Power of Attorney is called the Principal.  The Principal is the person who is giving the authority.
  • Agent – The person receiving the power is called the Agent.  The Agent is acting for the Principal.  The Agent does not sign the Power of Attorney.

Good to know: All Powers of Attorney terminate upon the death of the Principal. Upon the death of the Principal, you will need a Will or other document to act for the Principal.

Note: Before you accept any POA as authority of the Agent, it is recommended that you confirm the Principal is alive.

Keep in mind, the Agent should not use the POA to transfer property to the Agent. This may be a violation of the fiduciary obligations of the Agent.

Texas Special POA for Real Estate Transactions

A Texas Special POA for real estate transactions is a Limited Power of Attorney.  This document appoints a person [agent] to conduct real estate transactions for a specific property only. It is not for ALL transactions.

Note:  In contrast, a General Durable Power of Attorney is used to appoint a person [agent] to conduct any transaction, including real estate transactions.

Good to know: The word “Durable” means that the power or authority given by the POA continues even if the Principal [owner] becomes mentally incapacitated. 

Special Durable Power of Attorney for Closing on a House

A property co-owner may use a Special Durable Power of Attorney for a closing on a house or other real estate transaction. The POA may be used to authorize one co-owner to act on behalf of the other co-owner. For example, it can be used to purchase or sell a property using deeds such as Warranty Deeds, Life Estate Deeds and others.

A Special POA may be used by one spouse or co-owner to authorize the other spouse or co-owner to buy or sell a property, including the signing of any required mortgage documents. As such, it may be used for Seller Financing documents. However, keep in mind that the authority is limited to one transaction only.

Additionally, the document can be used by a spouse or other co-owner who is out of state or out of the country at the time of a real estate closing. Either to buy or sell property that is co-owned.

This document is especially useful when there are many heirs to a property. In this case, the heirs may want to appoint one heir to handle the sale of the property. All the heirs sign a POA and name the one heir that can act on their behalf.

Note: The Agent does not need to be a co-owner of the property.

Good to know: Many Texas title and mortgage companies require a Special Durable Power of Attorney for Real Estate Transactions if a person will be signing documents for someone else. Even though you may already have a General Power of Attorney.

In most cases, title and mortgage companies prefer that the POA specifically describe the property being bought or sold. A General POA does not specifically describe the property.

Powers of Attorney can be revoked at any time by the Principal. A Revocation of a Power of Attorney needs to be in writing and should be filed with the County Clerk.

Power of Attorney for Real Estate Closing in Texas

In order to be valid, a Power of Attorney for a Real Estate Closing in Texas must: 

  1. Be in writing
  2. Provide the name and address of the Principal
  3. Provide the name and address of the Agent
  4. Be signed by the Principal in front of a notary
  5. Include the address of the property that is being bought or sold
  6. List the specific actions the Agent can take on behalf of the Principal

Item numbers 5 and 6 are what make the POA a Special (limited) POA rather than a General POA.

The signed and notarized document will need to be filed in the property records in the county in which the property is located.

Most title and mortgage companies will want to verify the Principal is still alive at the time of the closing.  This usually requires a telephone call with the Principal. If the title or mortgage company cannot verify that the Principal is alive, the title or mortgage company may refuse to proceed with the real estate closing.

Remember: the power granted by a Special POA ends when the Principal dies.

Note: Most Special POA’s have a start date and end date. The document will have an effective date and a termination date. This means the power can only be exercised within the time period specified in the document.

Good to know: A Trust, Corporation or Limited Liability Company cannot sign a Power of Attorney. Only a natural person can be a Principal of a POA, and only a natural person can be appointed as Agent.

A Trust may need an amendment to the Trust.

A Corporation or a Limited Liability Company may use a resolution to designate a person to act on its behalf.

We prepare these and many other legal documents. Please email us at scott@texaspropertydeeds.com.

Our fee to prepare a Durable Power of Attorney, either Special or General, is $195. To get started, click this button to fill out the form.

If you want to revoke a Power of Attorney, you may need a document called a Revocation of a Power of Attorney.  This document is used to revoke or terminate a POA you may have previously signed. We can prepare this document for $195.

If you have any questions about a Texas Real Estate Power of Attorney, call and speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850.  There is no fee for your call.  Or email him at scott@texaspropertydeeds.com.

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