The closing process refers to the final stage of buying/selling, when the title of the property, along with its ‘deed of trust’ or mortgage, is transferred to the buyer. The closing process may seem complicated, but here are the basics of what you can expect to happen on closing day.
1) Gather up the documents
Closing day actually starts the day before you sign those final papers. At this point, you need to gather up all the paperwork you’ve received: your good faith estimate, contract, proof of title search, and any necessary insurance, including flood certification, proof of homeowner’s insurance, and mortgage insurance, along with your home appraisal and home inspection reports.
2) Perform a walk-through inspection
Your home sale contract should entitle you to one last walk-through of your soon-to-be home to ensure everything is there that is supposed to be there, and any changes or repairs that were agreed upon have been completed. At this point, all of the previous owner’s belongings—and garbage—should be out of the house. If any problems arise during this walk-through, you can request to delay closing or ask the seller to deposit money into the escrow account to cover any necessary repairs.
3) Sign the papers
During the actual closing, you will be required to sign some legal documents, both with the lender regarding the terms and conditions of your mortgage, as well as with the seller who is transferring ownership. Make sure you read and pay attention to what you are signing, and don’t sign anything that has blank lines or spaces. If you’ve hired a lawyer, he or she will assist you with this process to ensure you are protected. The closing agent, attorney, title representative, home seller (and the seller’s real estate agent), and the mortgagee or lender will all be on scene during either the closing or the settlement negotiation with you.
4) Receive your documents—and your keys!
At closing, you will pay any closing costs and escrow items, and you will receive your HUD-1 settlement statement, your final TILA statement, your mortgage note, your mortgage or deed of trust, and your certificate of occupancy. Once you’ve received all the appropriate forms and signed all the closing documents, the keys are yours and you are free to start enjoying your brand new home!