First-time homeowners are often confused about exactly what will happen at the closing. Basically, the closing is where the home is transferred from the seller to the buyer. You’ll sign a lot of paperwork and receive the keys to your new home. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect on the big day.
Who Will Be There?
There will be several individuals at the closing. Of course you will be there if you’re the buyer. You’ll also see the seller, both of your attorneys, your real estate agents, a representative of the lender, and the closing agent. In some situations some of these people may not attend the meeting, but usually these are the key players.
What Will Be Discussed?
During the closing, which typically lasts about an hour or so, you’ll review the settlement sheet with the closing agent. Although there are plenty of horror stories about home buyers getting hit with major surprises on the HUD-1 settlement sheet, you can avoid this by asking your attorney to provide a copy for you a day or so before the closing. After you sign the settlement sheet you’ll need to sign a stack of other mortgage loan documents, such as the Truth-in-Lending statement, the deed and the mortgage note.
The Big Payout
Then comes the part you’ve probably been anticipating and dreading: handing over a certified check for the closing costs. Your lender will also give a check for the amount of the mortgage to the closing agent. The lender will also set up the escrow account that will be used to pay your property taxes and insurance.
It usually takes several days after closing for a property to be legally transferred. That transfer occurs after the closing agent records the mortgage and deed with your local government.