Closing on a property is an exciting time, but the process is complicated and often challenging for buyers to understand. Defined as “a meeting of all parties involved in a property transaction during which pertinent documents are signed and transferred and funds are transferred,” the closing is one of the final steps in purchasing real estate.
The Closing Process
The closing process is usually handled by a closing agent, most often a title insurance company or an attorney. The meeting takes 45 to 60 minutes. The closing agent starts to prepare for your closing soon after you sign your contract. First, payoff information is requested for existing mortgages. Information regarding homeowner’s association fees and/or transfer fees is also requested. When a new mortgage is being obtained to purchase the property, the closing agent works with the lender to ensure that all of the lender’s requirements are met.
A title search is performed to verify that the seller has the legal right to transfer ownership and to determine whether any outstanding liens, mortgages, easements, etc. affecting the property exist. Upon completion of the title search, a title commitment is issued to document any problems revealed during the search and to commit to insuring the title.
Once the lender has received all of the required documents and the loan has been approved, the closing agent schedules the closing meeting with all parties. A package consisting of all applicable loan documents, closing instructions, fees, etc. is prepared by the lender and sent to the closing agent. The closing agent then prepares the closing documents. During the meeting, all of the documents are thoroughly explained and signed by the buyer, seller and real estate agent, if applicable. After the closing meeting, the original deed and mortgage are sent to the courthouse for recording, and the loan package is sent to the lender. Remaining funds are dispersed appropriately, and the owner’s and lender’s titles are issued once the deed and mortgage have been returned to the closing agent.
The closing process is complicated, and it can be overwhelming for buyers. At Shore Title, we understand, and we strive to make the process as simple as possible for both buyers and sellers. For more information, give us a call today at 609-263-7472.