Closing on a Home

After dealing with all the stress involved with viewing homes, presenting offers, going through inspections and meeting all the loan requirements, it's finally time to close on your chosen home. So what can you expect?

The closing or transfer of title you've been looking forward to is finally here, and now it's time to review the rather large stack of closing documentation with your settlement agent and then start signing your name on the dotted lines. When the signing process is over, your closing is complete. Following the closing, certain executed documents that reflect the change of ownership are electronically sent to an abstractor to be recorded at the appropriate registry of deeds. Once the documentation is recorded you are now the proud owner of a home.!

Have all your documents and checks ready for the closing process

Typically you can expect to see and sign the following documents, however, the documentation may vary depending upon the type of loan or if you are purchasing with cash.

  • Promissory note on your mortgage: This is a legal document that defines and commits you to the terms of your loan. It is called a promissory note because it is, in fact, your written promise to repay the loan. This document will include the amount of your payments, instructions for submitting your payments, and an explanation of penalties and fees you will incur if you stop making payments or are late with a payment.
  • Legal affidavits: You may be required to sign legal documents in which you swear that certain statements (for example, that you are still employed or that this new home will be used as your primary residence) are true.
  • The deed: A deed contains a description of the property, including the location and lot size, and lists who the owner is. Transfer of the deed to your name occurs at the closing.

What do I need to bring?

Your closing agent will provide you with an ALTA settlement statement prior to closing containing a complete breakdown of all the figures associated with your transaction including the closing costs figure you'll have to provide in the form of a cashier's check or wire to the settlement company. Furthermore, you'll need to bring a government-issued photo ID, such as your driver’s license or passport. It's also recommended to have your personal checkbook with you just in case a closing figure error occurs and a bit more funding is needed. Don't hesitate to ask your lender and settlement agent a lot of questions about the closing procedure and the required documentation so you feel comfortable with the entire process.

When do I get the keys?

Once you and the seller have signed all the closing documentation and all the necessary funds are in the hands of the settlement agent it's now time to receive the keys to your new home. However, your agent will let you know what to expect to occur upon the completion of your closing since there are certain situations that may delay the passing of the keys.