Who is involved?
There are numerous people involved in the complex process of purchasing a home. Leading up to the “closing day,” these professionals typically transition from sales and listing professionals to legal and financial experts.
Upon agreeing to the sale, and signing the purchase and sales agreement, the closing phase commences. Numerous aspects of this process have already been determined by the time you read the initial closing contract. The most important entity involved at this stage is the escrow or title company, a neutral third-party entity often recommended by one of the real estate agents. In some jurisdictions, this may be a private attorney.
The closing process can take between four to six weeks, due to research and financing approval. Here are the finer details about what is going on during those six weeks:
The closing agent will be handling all of the initial financial details. These include the old loan payoff amounts, instructions from the new lender, tax property prorating and final legal instructions for you and the seller.
The closing agent will determine the final amount the buyer will need to bring to the final closing meeting. This is usually handled in the form of either a cashier’s or certified check.
The title company is striving to make sure there are no civil or judicial leans against the property. These will need to be taken care of before the property can be sold. The lender is fabricating the final loan documents and transferring them to the escrow company.
The seller is preparing the property for sale. This includes repairs and refurbishments that were initially agreed to.
The buyer is preparing the final loan application and making all the necessary insurance and utility changes, to be effective on the move-in date.
A final walkthrough is usually conducted within a day of the final closing. At this time, all appliances are checked and the home goes through a final audit to ensure that the seller is complying with the agreed upon terms. In addition, issues may delay closing, until the seller complies with the agreement.
What to Bring
- A certified/cashier’s check – Federal Law requires the buyer to be told of the final closing cost a minimum of twenty-four hours before settlement. This will include the down payment, and the three to five percent (of the selling price) closing costs. The Closing agent will provide all details about how the payments should be arranged.
- Proof of homeowner’s insurance – Insurance is vital for any major loan instrument. You will be required to have insurance that is in effect on the closing day, and a contract stipulating that the policy will be in effect for a year.
- Valid Photo ID – Any legally accepted picture identification issued by the State or Federal Government’s will suffice.
- Your Agent or Attorney – Experience is vital in these transactions. Bring someone with financial and legal experience with you, to prevent any last-minute snags.
- Purchase and Sale Contract – This is to compare the final costs with what was determined in the initial agreement.