GET THE KEYS. Below is a basic summary of some of the key steps, key documents and key players that factor into finalizing a real estate purchase or sale. The closing is the final step when the seller receives their proceeds and the buyer takes ownership and receives their keys!
Of course, every closing is unique and there is a great deal more that you and your attorney will do. This basic summary is a starting point for understanding what happens before and during a closing.
PRIOR TO CLOSING THESE STEPS MUST BE COMPLETED:
Any additional discussions of costs, repairs and fixtures will have been satisfactorily settled.
An appraisal of the home and an independent third-party inspection of its condition will have been carried out.
The prospective buyer will have secured the mortgage needed to purchase the property.
The buyer will do a final walk-through of the property.
ISSUES THAT CAN DELAY A CLOSING:
Title to the property must be free of any claims or doubts as to ownership. Liens or claims must be cleared up by
the sellers before a closing can proceed. Liens might be placed on a property by the IRS or the state government if income taxes or property taxes are owed by the homeowner.
An appraisal that is lower than the purchase price and/or the amount you are seeking to borrow.
Failure to secure a mortgage.
PREPARING FOR CLOSING IF YOU ARE THE BUYER:
Hire an experienced real estate attorney.
Get a home inspection.
Learn your closing costs: origination fee, application fee, lender's title insurance, title search fee, attorney's fees, etc.
Sign a contract to purchase.
Your attorney will order a title search.
Obtain clearance from your mortgage lender to close.
Ask your attorney to schedule and confirm your closing date.
Conduct a final walk-through of the property ensuring that the seller has removed their belongings, made
any negotiated repairs and left any fixtures that you expected to be included in the sale.
WHO WILL BE AT THE CLOSING:
ATTORNEYS: Your lawyer will represent you. The seller's lawyer will also be present along with your lender's attorney.
SELLER or their representative.
TITLE COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: Verifies and confirms clear title in your name.
REAL ESTATE BROKER OR SALES AGENT: Receives their commission from the seller.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CLOSING DOCUMENTS:
LOAN ESTIMATE: Information about your loan, including terms, interest rate and closing costs. Make sure all
the information is correct.
CLOSING DISCLOSURE: Outlines the details of your mortgage. You should receive this form a few days before
the closing so you can compare it to the loan estimate.
ESCROW STATEMENT: Lists the payments the lender will pay from your escrow account during the first year
of your mortgage. These charges include taxes and insurance.
MORTGAGE NOTE: States your promise to repay the mortgage, the amount and terms of the loan and the
penalties and/or consequences if you fail to make payments.
MORTGAGE: Secures the note and gives your lender a claim against the property if you fail to comply with
the terms of the mortgage note.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (C of O): When purchasing a newly constructed property, you need this legal
document to move in. You are entitled to a copy of the title policy and survey, as well.
PURCHASE AGREEMENT: A contract that details the terms of a real estate transaction. Signing the purchase
agreement finalizes your right to purchase the property.
ON CLOSING DAY:
BRING A PHOTO I.D. & PROOF OF INSURANCE: Government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.
Marriage certificate if you are purchasing the property with a spouse and do not have the same last name. Proof of Homeowner's Insurance.
PAY CLOSING COSTS: Bank checks for the balance of the down payment and your closing costs.
SIGN LOAN & TRANSFER DOCUMENTS: These documents pertain to the mortgage agreement between you and your
lender and the agreement between you and the seller, who is transferring ownership of the property.
Remember, this is just a general guideline. Every closing is unique. Steps may change and other factors may come into play. Your attorney will help you navigate the process and always represent your best interests. Once the closing is completed, you are free to move into your new home and into your new future!
CONTACT US to schedule a time to speak about your closing.
THE INFORMATION YOU OBTAIN AT THIS SITE IS NOT, NOR IS IT INTENDED TO BE, LEGAL ADVICE, AND IS CONSIDERED ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.