What to Expect at a Closing
Buying a home is one of the greatest - and most expensive - investments you and your family make in your lifetime. When you sign the closing documents and receive the keys to your new home, it’s truly an exhilarating moment. But what is the process leading up to this moment? What can you expect on closing day? Here’s an overview to help you navigate your new and exciting venture.
What is closing?
The closing process, also known as settlement, is when the property title transfers from the seller to the buyer. It is the final phase of mortgage processing. The escrow company handles the distribution of the funds and the new deed is registered in your name. As the buyer of the property, you have the responsibility of paying for any outstanding fees that are associated with the closing process. Once the legalities are taken care of, the keys are handed over to you and you can start making memories in your new home.
What is the closing process?
In reality, the closing process begins when you get pre-approved for a mortgage and find the home you’d like to purchase. The closing generally takes 30-60 days to finalize and consists of the following steps:
Opening an escrow account
Negotiating closing costs
Completing a thorough home inspection
Renegotiating the offer based on the inspection, if needed
Finalizing mortgage terms and locking in your interest rate
Depositing earnest money
Completing a final walkthrough of the property
You’ll accrue many documents during the closing process. Make sure to keep track of all documentation and bring it with you to the closing in case your need to reference it.
Who attends the closing?
The home buying process is a long tale of many key players. On closing day, you’ll see many of the key players that you’ve worked with and assist you throughout your home buying process. While the people can vary depending on locality, the following will be present when you sign your mortgage paperwork:
The buyer (you)
The home seller
Your real estate agent
The seller’s real estate agent
The title company’s representative
Legal representation for the buyer, seller, or lender (if needed)
The closing agent
What happens on closing day?
This is the day you’ve been waiting weeks (or even months) for. On closing day, be prepared to sign your name a lot and complete the following:
Review and sign legal agreements. There are two essential agreements you’ll be signing. The lending agreement from your mortgage lender detailing the terms and conditions of your loan, and the agreement between you and the seller to transfer ownership of the property. Prior to signing, read each agreement carefully, or if you have your attorney present, have them review the documentation.
Pay any closing costs. Closing costs are expenses over and above the property's price incurred to complete a real estate purchase.
Receive the mortgage note. This is a legally binding contract requiring you to repay your mortgage according to its terms.
Receive the deed of trust. Should you be unable to pay your mortgage, this gives your lender a claim against the home.
Expect the unexpected
With any large investment, there is a risk of uncertainty and last-minute surprises. By planning and being prepared, many of these surprises can be avoided. Here are ways to stay on top of your home buying process to prevent unexpected mishaps:
Keep your paperwork organized and quickly respond to your lender if there are any questions or concerns.
Avoid big purchases prior to closing. Using your credit card or applying for another loan can negatively affect your credit score. When your lender runs a credit report a few days before your closing, it can cause problems by affecting your loan terms or negating your loan altogether.
If you’re prepared and know what to expect, there are no reasons your closing process shouldn’t go smoothly.
Are you buying or selling real estate? Guarantee Abstract Co., located in Enid, OK, offers solutions that help protect your rights as a land or property owner. We are committed to providing you with accurate, timely, and complete real estate abstracting and title services tailored to meet your unique needs. To schedule an appointment or learn more about our title services, contact us at 580-237-2244 or fill out our online form. We look forward to working with you.