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Section 5: Closing

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Prerequisites to Closing

Before the LPA can close the sale of a property, it must provide clear title, title insurance and resolve outstanding property tax liabilities. For more information on clouds on title and title insurance, see the ROW Acquisition Manual, Chapter 15, Title Requirements and Title Insurance.

For past-due taxes, the means of resolving tax liability will depend on if the property is a whole taking or a partial taking. Condemnation may be necessary. For current taxes on whole takings, the LPA must cooperate with taxing agencies for payment of taxes on a prorated basis. If the property owner and the taxing agencies cannot agree on a method for payment, the LPA should pay the property owner without regard to taxes. See the ROW Acquisition Manual, Chapter 15, Section 4, Title Insurance Requirements: Donations, Taxes (for State and LPA).

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Instruments of Conveyance

Instruments of conveyance will be prepared on TxDOT standard forms. TxDOT will accept full warranty deeds, TxDOT form ROW-N-14 Deed. In those cases where a property owner refuses to sign a full warranty deed, TxDOT will accept a special warranty deed, provided that the title company will guarantee title without an exception due to the special warranty language. For more information on preparing deeds, see the ROW Acquisition Manual, Chapter 13, Section 2, Standard Conveyance Forms.

In addition, there are some special clauses approved for use in conveyance instruments covering situations such as retained improvements, bisected improvements, and pass privileges. See the ROW Acquisition Manual, Chapter 14, Special Clauses for Conveyance Instruments for more details. Aside from these special clauses, no changes to TxDOT's conveyance instruments are permitted.

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The LPA is responsible for recording at its own expense deeds, judgments, or other instruments in the real property records of each county in which the property is located.

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