Closing is the point during the home-buying process when the title is transferred to the buyer and the final payment is transferred to the seller. From looking at real estate to arranging financing to negotiating the final price, you’ll work with a variety of real estate, legal, banking, and administrative professionals.
It’s important to understand the process of closing as the buyer during the sale. Closing happens after the buyer has made an offer and the seller has accepted the offer, financing has been arranged, and a date has been set to finalize the transaction.
At closing, all legal documents are signed and all financial transactions are completed to finalize the sale. There will be various professionals involved in the sale, including the title company, real estate agents, mortgage representatives, lawyers, home inspectors, insurance agents, and notaries. Some of these professionals will be at the closing. The buyers and sellers and their representatives review all documents they are signing at closing.
It’s best to get organized and come prepared to the closing so there are no last minute delays or problems completing the sale. The mortgage lender will require a home inspection, appraisal and insurance before signing off on the loan. Homeowners, private mortgage insurance and any other insurance required by the lender such as flood insurance or wind insurance. If you do not select an insurance provider, the mortgage lender will do it for you, likely at a higher rate than if you shop for insurance rates on your own. The title company will do a title search to ensure their are no liens on the property prior to closing.
A closing checklist helps you gather all the necessary documents you’ll need, as well as make sure you get all the documentation you’ll need at the transaction. Bring the following to the closing:
Even though you received keys to the house at closing, change the locks before moving in. You don’t know who has copies. You’ll need to get the utilities turned on, and plan to clean the house or have it cleaned so it’s comfortable when you move in.
After the closing, make copies of all documents you receive and put the originals in a safe deposit box or other secure place. Some things still need to be done by the settlement agent, such as forwarding payment to prior lenders, paying all parties who provided services for the closing, paying out funds to the seller, completing the final title search, and recording all legal documents. You may want to touch base with the settlement agent shortly after the closing if you have any questions or concerns about any documents or transactions.