varies by region. In many places the buyer and seller never see each other. You and your agent or attorney may meet with the closing officer, or just you and the escrow officer may take care of closing.
There is closing and there is “the closing,” the ultimate moment when you finally and legally become the owner of your new home. As with all things real estate, how the real estate closing is handled and by whom depends on where you live and local custom. But everywhere, when the deed is recorded, the title passes from seller to buyer.
This is called “closing” or “settlement” or “close of escrow.” It sounds so simple, as if a single piece of paper could be handed from one person to another along with the keys to the front door! To that we say: Dream on. During the closing phase of your transaction, there are lots of folks involved in everything from making sure the seller really has the right to sell you the house to recording documents at the proper county office.
Let’s begin by explaining who handles the closing and what happens leading up to “closing day.”
When you and the seller signed the purchase and sales agreement, you kicked off the closing phase. In fact, you even agreed on who would handle your closing in the contract. Often that’s an escrow or title company recommended by one of your real estate agents. In some parts of the country an attorney handles closing. The point is that an impartial third party, the closing agent, will take care of things from now on. The closing agent handles all the paperwork, money and instructions.
Things will move along several tracks toward closing day, which is typically four to six weeks after you and the seller sign the contract. So what’s happening during those weeks?
When the closing agent is satisfied that everything is in order and all the instructions are prepared and distributed, it’s time for “the closing.”
The closing meeting structure varies by region. In many places the buyer and seller never see each other. You and your agent or attorney may meet with the closing officer, or just you and the escrow officer may take care of closing.
If you live where an attorney handles closing, all parties may be gathered around the same table.
Or you may be buying a house across the country and your closing is being handled by a branch office of a title company.
Because the federal government allows electronic signatures, it is now possible to conduct a paperless, online closing. Some experts are predicting a revolution in how real estate transactions are done in the near future; others see this day farther out because original signatures are the preferred method of document preparation so as to ensure that every interested party involved in the closing was able to read and verify all the documents. Closings usually take from one to two hours.
As the buyer, you actually have two closings: The closing on your loan AND the closing on your real estate transaction. Again, the documents you sign vary by where you live and the specifics of your transaction. Some may have different titles than those used here.
You could have up to 24 different documents to read and sign related to closing your loan. Usually the number is smaller. Here is a description of a handful of them.
Now that you’ve signed for the money you have borrowed to buy the house, it’s time to sign the documents that make the house legally yours. Again, there may be a dozen different documents that need your signature.
Your email address will not be published.