What Happens at Closing?
Closing is the point in the transaction where you finalize the remaining paperwork. This should be an exercise in determining how many times you can sign your name with one ink pen! It is purely an administrative exercise. If you are working with an experience Realtor, you will rarely find any surprises at the settlement table.
By the time you get to closing, all the heavy lifting has been done. It's your Realtor's responsibility to get you to closing and help solve any hiccups along the way. This is not designed to be a stressful situation. Closing should be uneventful.
In a nutshell, you show up with your ID to sign a stack of documents. Your closing is conducted by an experienced and professional title settlement officer. Buyers, Sellers, and, their respective real estate agents usually (but not always), are in attendance. The sole purpose of the meeting is to complete the transaction by completing the necessary paperwork.
The Settlement Officer acts as a neutral party and is there to explain each charge and credit on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, review all documents with you and confirm that you have properly executed each document. After you have signed and reviewed all the necessary documents, you will pay the funds needed to close. Next, you receive the house keys to your new home. The closing generally takes about one hour.
If for any reason, you cannot attend closing, there are ways to address this. However, it is important that you notify your Realtor and the title company of this, as soon as possible.
In the event of a closing delay, it's important to know the cause of the delay. These days, delays are often due to overwhelmed banks. There are check points along the way to avoid such delays. If there are unusual delays, you should already be aware of them before getting to the closing table. If there is a delay, look to your Realtor. If they don't seem overly concerned, chances are you have little reason to worry.
How Should I Prepare for Closing?
Contact all of the utility companies prior to settlement to schedule to have the electric, gas, water, cable, etc. turned on in your name the day after settlement. Utilities should remain on and in the Seller's name through the day of settlement. If for some reason, your settlement date changes, you'll need to contact the utility companies to move your start dates. See the "Community Information" section of the website for commonly used phone numbers.
We will also conduct a walk-thru on or in the vicinity of the closing date. This is primarily to verify that any required repairs have been completed. It is also to ensure that the general condition of the property has not changed since the contract was ratified.
What Do I Need to Bring to Closing?
Be sure to bring valid government issued photo identification such as a driver's license or pass¬port to the closing. If you are signing for someone as their Attorney-in-Fact, please bring the original Power of Attorney. Powers of Attorney need to be discussed with the title company well in advance of settlement.
Buyers must also bring the funds to pay the balance of the down payment stated in the sales contract. This is usually paid in the form of a cashier's check, however funds may be wired to the title company provided they arrive prior to the closing. If the buyer has brought more funds to closing than the required, the title company will quickly issue the Buyer a check for the excess. Please contact the title company the day before settlement to obtain an estimate of the total funds needed to close. If the HUD1 has not been finalized in time for your to get to the bank in a reasonable time, use your Lender's estimated figures from your Good Faith Estimate. Lenders tend to estimate a little high to be on the safe.
*Source: Key Title