What to Expect When Closing on a Home

 

The day you have been waiting for in your home buying process has finally arrived: closing day!

Closing day is the day that the buyer and seller sign the papers that officially sell the house, transferring everything into the new buyer’s name. By the end of the day, you should have the keys to your new home in hand.

This is also the last chance you will have to make any changes to the purchase.

Preparing for Closing

To prepare for closing, it is a good idea to thoroughly read your HUD-1 settlement statement from your loan, to help you get familiar with the terms and conditions of your loan. This document will outline what your mortgage payment will be, the loan’s terms, and any additional closing costs you need to pay. Compare your good-faith estimate to your HUD-1 statement and if you find any discrepancies, talk to your lender about them.

Most buyers can do a final walkthrough of the property before closing day. The final walkthrough allows you to view the property one last time, to ensure that there are not any new damages to it, any new changes, and to make sure it is still in the overall good condition it was last time you saw it. This is usually done within a week of the closing date. It is a good idea to bring a checklist with you to make sure you are thorough in your final inspection of the property.

If you had asked the seller to make repairs on the home, this is the time for you to confirm that they have been taken care of, and if they have not, bring it up to the seller as soon as possible. Once you sign everything on closing day you will not be able to ask them to make further repairs, so this is your last chance to have them fixed before any issues are your responsibility. At worst, closing ay may be delayed while the issue is resolved.

Closing is not something you can do during your one-hour lunch break. Plan to spend at least half of the day finalizing everything. So much goes into the process that it is important to take your time going over everything one last time with care, instead of hurrying through it because you planned something two hours after closing.

What to Bring to Closing

On closing day, you will need to bring with you copies of your inspection reports, proof of your homeowner’s insurance, any documents requested by your lender, and any other documents you have received during the purchase process. You also need to have a photo ID with you and the name on the ID has to match the name that will be appearing on the mortgage and the title for the property, so if you have recently changed your name, make sure you have your ID updated before closing.

You will also need to bring a cashier’s check or a certified check with you for your down payment and any closing costs. Sometimes you can make the payment with a wire transfer, so you can inquire about that option before closing day.

What You Can Expect at Closing

You can expect to see a lot of people present on closing day. In addition to you and the seller, both of your real estate agents will be present, both of your attorneys, a representative from your lender, and a representative from the title company.

The title company representative is present to do a title search of the public property records for the property. This is to ensure there are not any liens or other issues with transferring the property to your name; these issues are pretty rare, but they can happen. Often the lender will require the search.

The majority of the closing day process is going over documents and signing things. You can expect to receive the deed to the property, a bill of sales, tax declarations, and information related to your mortgage agreement.

When you finish getting all of your paperwork signed, you will get the keys and be able to move into your new home! Closing day can be a long an tiring process, but getting handed those keys at the end of it is well worth the work.