Closing day is the day you and your seller finally seal the deal. Property funds exchange hands or leave escrow, which is why closing is often referred to as settlement or escrow. Here is how you should expect closing to go down.
10 Steps To A Great Closing
Eat Breakfast and Take at Least Half a Day Off
It takes a while to sign the stack of papers and you don’t want to feel either hungry or rushed while you are doing it. Don’t worry about taking the time to read every one before signing it — everyone else can wait.
Present Homeowner’s Insurance Receipt
You give the lender the receipt which proves that homeowner’s insurance has been obtained for the property.
Review HUD-1 Settlement Statement
You were clever enough to do this already, but still listen carefully while the closing/escrow agent or your attorney, depending on which state you live in, reviews the HUD-1 settlement statement with the buyer and seller to verify that it is accurate. If so, both you and the seller sign the form.
Present Closing Costs Check
You and the seller give the closing/escrow agent certified checks to cover the closing costs for which you are each responsible.
Sign the Mortgage
Your mortgage is your agreement that if you don’t make the monthly payments as agreed, your lender is entitled to sell your property and apply the sale price against the amount you owe plus expenses.
Present Mortgage Check
Your lender will then give the closing/escrow agent or your attorney a check to cover the mortgage amount.
Receive Title to the Property
A warranty deed is signed over to you by the seller.
Receive Keys to the Property
If your funding goes through, you will be given a set of keys to your new home. Think of these keys as temporary, though, because you’ll probably want to replace your locks and create a unique set. If funding doesn’t go through until the next day, you may need to make other arrangements to pick them up from your agent, title officer, or a lock box.
Receive any Additional Useful Documentation
The seller may also give you some important documents such as instructions (on how to care for the garden) or warranties for appliances. This doesn’t always happen but it is certainly worth asking for.
Record Legal Documents
The recording process is the final step in the closing process. The escrow/closing company, attorney, or title company that handles your transaction will officially record the deed with the local county courthouse.