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Basics of Using Power Closer

... basic Power Closer orientation

The Power Closer User Guide that comes with the paid product contains a specific and detailed, keystroke-by-keystroke description of just about everything to do with Power Closer.

The material provided here provides an introduction and overview of what to expect from Power Closer and how to go about using it, in general terms.

On this page:

See also these pages:


All versions of Power Closer (Demo/Jr./Std./Multi-user):

You can set options for one-time use while printing or exporting data,  and the options will revert to the default settings the next time. To set those Power Closer's default options so they stick, use the Options menu item. See Setting Up Power Closer.

Power Closer can calculate recording fees and taxes based on formulas that you enter. Depending on which formula you use, Power Closer will look to see which state, county or city the land is located in, and will use the formulas, check allocations and payees that you have entered for that jurisdiction. You may use an alternative "Other" formula occasionally as needed for special situations.

You can control which recording costs are to be charged to the buyer or seller by using the Options menu item, selecting This File or Default Template, and pressing the "Recording and X-fer charges" button, where you can set up these items. 

Balancing the Closing and allocating the checks has about a fifteen minute learning curve, but quickly repays that investment of time. This involves net loan funding, crediting the earnest money deposit, and changing how the funds are apportioned into checks. See Balancing the Closing.

To mark items as POC (Paid outside closing), place the cursor in the relevant HUD line and open the POC Window. This option works on appropriate HUD lines that have sufficient room.

You can E-mail or fax the HUD-1 and other printouts by installing the proper drivers. See Install one or more printers.

Click the Status button on Power Closer's opening page or press Control-S to open Power Closer's Status window. There you can change a closing file's status from "Pre-Closing" to "Ready to Close", and in turn to "Disbursed." You can also check the "File Closed" checkbox. These changes can always be undone.

  • Pre-Closing: The HUD-1 prints with a "Pre-Closing Draft" banner.

  • Ready to Close: The "Pre-Closing Draft" disappears. A workstation option controls whether "Ready to Close" closings can be (or cannot be) edited from that workstation. If you cannot edit, you can change the status back to Pre-Closing to unlock it.

  • Disbursed: Everything is locked except the 1099 window, which is never locked. To edit, change the status back to an earlier status. Power Closer's optional 1099 reporting module reports 1099's for "Disbursed" closings to IRS.

  • File Closed: The file is moved from the list of open (active) files to the list of closed files. Marking the file closed does not affect 1099 reporting to IRS.

All versions of Power Closer can be networked to share the  database.

The above is for all versions, including the demo. The following is for paid versions only. For more about the demo, click here.

All paid versions of Power Closer

Enter your address and tax id number in the site options as it is to appear on Form 1099-S. (If your address or tax id number ever changes, be sure to go back and enter the new information in the site options as it is to appear on Form 1099-S. The Power Closer Annual Report Program which reports 1099's to IRS is designed to detect these changes and report to IRS accordingly.)

Power Closer prints the seller's copy of  Form 1099-S and a certificate to exempt from the 1099 reporting requirement. If applicable, give the Form 1099-S to the Seller at closing because sellers may move and leave no forwarding information. Power Closer's optional 1099 Annual Report Program can report these 1099's to IRS. For more, see 1099 Orientation.

Power Closer creates a new closing file by copying the default closing template unless you designate a different template or another closing. There is no limit to the number of closings you can save in the Power Closer database.

You can create and edit closing templates using the Template menu item on the File New and File Open screens. If you consistently make the same changes to closings, you can enter those very same changes just once into a closing template, then start future closings based on that template. Editing a closing template will not affect existing closings. 

If a closing template uses a State formula to calculate the transfer tax, Power Closer will look to see what State the land is in, and use whatever formula you entered for that State. Alternatively, if you change the template to use a County formula for the transfer tax, then for any new closings based on that template, Power Closer will look to see what County the land is in, and use the formula you entered for that particular County. You can enter formulas for new Counties as needed. Check the "Enter/modify defaults" checkbox and click the OK button when you want to save the information for use in other closings.

All paid versions of Power Closer can allocate checks. Just make the same formulaic changes to a closing template that you would ordinarily make to the closing. Future closings based on that template will have that allocation of checks. For more about allocating the checks, see Balancing the Closing.

Power Closer has a Database Manager program that can search the database, print reports, and compact the database. It is located in the program folder, normally located at C:\P-Closer\db-mgr.exe. Click on its menu items to use it.

No special technical expertise is needed to install a Power Closer software update or upgrade using a Power Closer CD. You might need to do this (1) if you have purchased an update or upgrade of Power Closer; or (2) if your firm name ever changes. In either case we would send you a program CD. Just insert the CD at each computer where you run Power Closer. The installation process is designed to make all necessary changes while preserving your existing site options and data.

The above is for all paid versions including Power Closer Jr.  The following is for Power Closer Standard and Multi-User versions only. 

Power Closer 
Standard Single User 
and Multi-user:

You can merge Power Closer data into your MS Word or WordPerfect forms. For orientation see Merging Documents.

Power Closer can copy a closing to and from disk. For example,  take a closing out of the office on a laptop in Power Closer and bring it back with changes and put it back into the database without overwriting other closings.

The Database Manager in Power Closer Standard and Multi-user can archive closings and consolidate databases. Full text searches can be run on the closing archive.

Power Closer exports to bookkeeping software so you can create checks automatically. If you are not sure whether to start exporting checks, see Reasons why we didn't start sooner. For orientation, see Balancing the Closing, and then see Checks and Three-Way Trust Accounting.

The above is for both Power Closer Standard Single User and Multi-user versions. The following is only for Multi-user versions.

Power Closer 
2-User Site and Additional users:

Networked users can open the same closing and enter the same piece of closing information at the same time. Additional users can be added to a site license. A separate license is needed for each site where Power Closer is used.

Power Closer requires a good solid network connection to the database to prevent database corruption. See "What is corrupting the database?" (Troubleshooting)

The above is for Power Closer 2-User Site and Additional users. The following is for the Power Closer demo.

Power Closer Demo

Power Closer demo is a free HUD-1 program that calculates and prints the settlement statement. Formulas for recording fees and costs can be entered and function normally. It recalculates the settlement statement and checks when needed, as for example when you change the settlement date.

To remove the "Pre-Closing Draft" banner from the settlement statement printout, change the status of the closing from "Pre-Closing" to "Ready to Close".

The Power Closer demo does not expire. The demo is limited to two closings in the database. The closing files cannot be deleted. If you delete the database file CDB.MDB and reinstall, you can start again with an empty database. The demo prints "(Demo)" in small print beside the Settlement Agent Name in Block H of the HUD-1 Form. The demo does not have a functional template, which means that some calculations, including check allocations, cannot be automated or customized. Other limitations of the demo are clearly set forth in the demo itself.

Even with these limitations, some closing professionals find that the demo suits their needs until they have a predictable enough volume of closings to justify buying software. You can download the demo here.

For more about the demo, see All versions above.

The above is for the Power Closer demo.

See also these pages: