If it's your first time buying a home, the process of closing the transaction is likely foreign to you. You may even be slightly intimidated: after all, buying this home is a decision that will greatly influence the next several years of your life. Here's everything you need to know about the process of closing on your home.
Part 1 - Closing Attendants
The closing typically includes the homebuyer, seller, their respective agents, and the Real Estate Closing Agent. Appearances may be made by your mortgage broker, lender, escrow agent, lawyer, and possibly even a title insurance company representative, who are all there to ensure that everything goes smoothly with documentation.
Part 2 - Closing Events
This is when your name is added to the title deed, and the keys are given to you. The closing will typically take an hour or two, but can vary depending on the deal's complexity. Date and time scheduling will be relative to convenience for all involved parties. The procedures and protocol for closing depend on the area, but the location will be either an attorney's office, escrow company, or title company.
Part 3 - Closing Preparations
First, make sure you've scheduled the closing within the lender's established commitment period, in order to avoid any problems. If you're currently renting, inform your landlord that you'll be moving out. Be sure to have the home inspected again, and make sure that any fixes are made before the home becomes yours.
This is a good time to invest in homeowner's insurance and title insurance. The latter insures protection against title defects and future claims made to the property by a third party. The last thing you want is to settle into your new home and find out that you have to deal with circumstances involving the prior owner. Title insurance companies, such as TitleSmart, exist so that sufficient coverage can be achieved while remaining cost effective.
The Closing Process - In Summary
Overall, real estate closings vary but all adhere to the same procedure: you will meet with the seller and respective agents, who will watch you sign the legal documents that finalize the deal. All final questions get asked and answered, the remainder of the paperwork will be exchanged, and you'll finally receive the keys. There are a few preparations to be made before the closing, but if you've done your due diligence, there will be nothing to fear.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. The information in this article is credited to TitleSmart.