The Real Estate Closing Process: A Step-by-Step Guide
January 07, 2019Buying a home can be one of the happiest times of your life, and at the same time, it can be a very stressful time. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers who have no idea what to expect when it's finally time to close on their new home. Walking into a closing after spending months trying to find the perfect home, negotiating the price, and waiting for all the pieces to fall into place that will allow for the actual closing to take place can be overwhelming. Before you get ready to buy a new home, check out this step-by-step guide to the real estate closing process to see what you should expect when you're ready to close on your dream home.
What is a Real Estate Closing?
A real estate closing, also called a mortgage closing or a settlement, is the final step before you take possession of your new home. It will normally take place anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks after the buyer and seller come to an agreement. When you sit down at the closing table, you are ready to sign the paperwork that will officially "close" the transaction between the buyer and the seller. If you've never attended a closing, it can be a little intimidating. There will be a lot of paperwork to sign. There may or may not be a lot of people attending the closing. Your real estate agent or realtor, representatives from the title company (and title insurance company), the escrow company, buyer and seller attorneys, and possibly a representative from the lender are some of the people that may or may not be present. It isn't necessary that buyer and seller are even present at the same time.
What Happens at a Real Estate Closing?
Here's what happens on the day of the closing:
- Lender sends funds to the title and escrow company or closing attorney. This is the money that will go to the buyer once all of the paperwork is signed and everything has been filed.
- Verify identification. Government-issued I.D. ensures that everybody is who they say they are.
- Attorney or title company explains documentation with buyers. All questions can be answered at this point. This is when you can ask questions pertaining to the house, double check that the seller or buyer has met all of the terms of the agreement, and clear up anything that is confusing you before you sign the final paperwork.
- Buyers sign all required paperwork. This is a long process and you will likely sign many documents that are similar. All of these are necessary and will be filed accordingly at the end of the process.
- Loan officer can answer questions or handle last minute issues. It's important to understand the terms of your loan, due dates, and anything else you may have forgot to ask regarding the terms of your loan.
- All paperwork gets notarized. If you are using a title and escrow company to handle your closing, they will have a representative at the closing that can handle everything from walking you through the paperwork to getting everything notarized and filed appropriately. That's one of the biggest advantages of using a title and escrow company. It will minimize the number of people or agencies involved, which can simplify what is often a complicated process.
- Updated title search to make sure there are no new title defects. This is a final pass at the title to make sure all of the information pertaining to the loan is still the same. Any previously undiscovered information will hold up the closing process.
- Deed and mortgage must be recorded. A title and escrow company can handle this for you.
- Distribution of escrow funds, keys to home, etc. The escrow account, held by a third party, will only release the contents of the escrow account when all of the appropriate paperwork has been signed and every last detail of the closing has been verified.
All parties that will be involved in the closing show up at the appointed time. There is a lot of important paperwork and it all has to be signed before the title can be transferred from seller to buyer. The promissory note, the mortgage (deed of trust), and the closing statement all need to be signed. A representative of the lender will go over these documents with you to make sure all of the information is correct before they are signed. These documents pertain to the loan itself. There are numerous other documents that will need to be signed as well, including legal documents that you sign verifying you have not lied or misrepresented anything during the course of the transaction.
There's no need to let all the intricate details of a closing stress you out. At Key Title & Escrow, we can get you through your closing efficiently and without stress. With over 21 years in the business, we have developed a solid reputation as leaders in the real estate closing industry. We offer a full range of title and escrow services, property title searches, judgment and lien searches, Florida title insurance, record owner searches, and residential title services. That means we are equipped with the knowledge and necessary skills to get you through your closings in a professional manner, as smoothly as possible.
At Key Title & Escrow, our goal is to provide you with exceptional customer service and professional closing services. We offer weekend closings to make it convenient for you when you're ready to close. At Key Title & Escrow, we are big enough to handle even the most challenging real estate closings yet small enough to give you the personal care you deserve. We are the leading title and escrow company in Florida. We offer statewide closings, so regardless of where you are in Florida, Key Title & Escrow can be at your closing. We always have your best interest at the heart of everything we do. Our goal is to provide you with professional, efficient closing services in Florida. When you're ready to close on your new home, contact the real estate professionals at Key Title & Escrow today. Let us show you how our closing services are the best real estate closing services in the state of Florida.
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