What to Expect When Closing on a Home

When closing on a home, it is only natural to feel a bit apprehensive about the process. This is particularly true if this is the first time you have bought a home and you do not know what to expect. By gaining a better understanding of what takes place at the closing, you will be more confident and ready to enter into the exciting world of homeownership.

Scheduling Your Closing

When scheduling a closing, keep in mind that the process can be quite time consuming. If you were hoping to complete the process over your lunch break, you are likely to be disappointed. Therefore, you should go into the process expecting it to take several hours. If it doesn’t take quite so long, you can be pleasantly surprised.

It is also a good idea to choose a closing date that is around the 20th or 25th of the month rather than at the very end of the month. This way, you will have time to address any last minute problems while still closing before the month ends. If the closing is not completed by the end of the month, you could face increased closing costs.

Who to Expect

The people who attend a closing can vary from one locality to the next, but those who are generally present at a closing include:

  • Home seller
  • Seller’s real estate agent
  • Representative of the title company
  • Mortgagee

A closing agent may also be present at the closing, as may attorneys that either you or the seller may have hired.


Bring the Necessary Papers

You will need to bring certain papers and documents with you to the closing in order to expedite the process. Things you should bring include a good faith estimate and proof of homeowners insurance, a copy of your contract, copies of your inspection repots and any other documents that you had to deliver to the bank in order to be approved for your mortgage.

Receiving Papers

While there are some papers that you need to bring with you to the closing, you will leave with far more papers than you brought. Some of the documents that you can expect to receive and sign include a settlement statement that details all of the costs related to the transaction, a mortgage note stating that you promise to repay the loan and a mortgage or deed of trust to secure your mortgage note. You should have been provided with these and other documents before the closing so you have time to review them prior to signing them at the closing table.

After signing the necessary documents and before taking possession of the home, you will also need to pay any closing costs and escrow payments associated with the transaction.

While most closings are finished without any problems, it is possible for a few things to go wrong at this point. For example, the lender may pull out at the last minute and deny financing the property. It is also possible that the seller failed to clear the property liens or that the home failed the final walk-through due to significant issues. For these reasons, it is important to realize that it is possible for the process to get delayed even further than the initial closing dat

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