Bringing it all “Home” — the Closing
After the searching for a home is done, the negotiations have been completed, the house has been inspected, and the mortgage has been applied for and committed to, the focus suddenly turns to the Closing, Settlement, or Escrow as it is known in some localities. For simplicity, in our discussions here we will refer to the process when it all comes together and you finally own the home as Closing. An understanding of the elements of and players in the closing, as well as a concise preparation for it, will eliminate many nervous hours as the day approaches.
What is involved?
It is the proverbial “signing on the dotted line:” the process of which will put the title to the house in your name, verify homeowners’ insurance on the property, commit in writing to the terms of the mortgage, and usually, put the keys to the house in your hands. In general, you will leave the closing and go to your new home as a homeowner. The weeks and months of anticipation are all settled in the short amount of time that you spend at the closing.
Closing procedures will vary from locality to locality. In some areas, the buyers and sellers (as well as their Real Estate Agents) will all attend the closing. In other areas, only the buyers will be present. The closing will take place at the office of an Attorney, a Title Company, or an Escrow Company (again, there is some variance here based on your local laws and tradition). In general, though, the closing will be attended by all of the buyers involved and their Real Estate Agent, as well as the Closing Agent, who has reviewed all of the components of the house sale and who is the one who will say “sign here” more times than you have ever heard in your life.
What forms are involved?
Although there may be additional documents involved, the primary items which are dealt with at the Closing are:
The Closing is your final opportunity to make certain that everything related to the purchase of your home is correct. It is important, therefore, that you do adequate preparation prior to the day of Closing. Although your Agent will most likely review all of the items needed with you, it is a good idea to have the right information in case you need to handle it on your own.
What items will we need?
The following are the most important items that you will need prior to or at closing and some hints regarding them:
By making adequate preparations in advance, you will be far less likely to have nasty surprises when everyone (especially you!) is ready for closing.