KeysThis is the last step in the process and the most celebrated moment. This is the day that you can finally say that you bought a house. It’s the day you can call yourself a homeowner. It’s the last step in a long but worthwhile process.

This step takes place afterStep 1 – Hire a Realtor®, Step 2 – Get approved for a loan, Step 3 – Begin your home search, Step 4 – Negotiate the Contract and Step 5 – Home Inspections have occurred.

The final step in the process is the closing. It’s when all the other steps come together and begins a new life path for you.

6. The closing

The closing, sometimes referred to as the settlement, generally takes place at the office of the title company that was selected on the purchase contract, although it can essentially take place anywhere that documents can be notarized and with the advancements of technology, it’s not always necessary for the parties to be present in a physical office. The parties to a closing are the seller and their Realtor®, the buyer and their Realtor® and at times the buyers loan officer. An escrow agent or an attorney, representing the title company that facilitates the transfer of ownership and the required legal documentation, generally coordinates the closing.

Essentially the purpose of a closing for the buyer is to verify all documents, sign loan documents, deed of trust and title transfer for the property.

champagne_toastApproximately 24 hours prior to the scheduled closing, the parties to the transaction will receive a settlement statement, otherwise known as a HUD-1 (Page 1) HUD-1 (page 2) statement from the title company. This statement outlines all the costs associated in purchasing the home including closing costs, loan amounts and a total amount that the buyer will have to bring to the closing. This amount needs to be in the form of a cashier’s check or money order.

It is also recommended that the buyers do a final walk through of the property during these 24 hours so that they have an opportunity to check the condition of the property and to make sure that any appliances or fixtures that were included in the sale are still there.

The title company will have received all the necessary documents prior to closing including but not limited to the purchase contract, loan documents, deed of trust, promissory note, survey, tax certificate, title commitment, homeowners insurance and invoices for any unpaid services provided during the inspection phase of the contract.

The closing process generally can be completed in an hour, depending on whether all documents are available and there are no sudden changes to the settlement statement.

It is not necessary for both sides to the transaction be present at the same time. It is often preferred that each party close separately particularly if the negotiating phase of the contract was difficult.

Once closing has ended, you will receive keys to your new home and copies of all the documents you signed.

All homes for sale buttonCongratulations you are now a homeowner!

It is highly recommended that you go to your new home with your Realtor® immediately after closing so that you can again check the condition of the property and make sure that all tangible items negotiated in the contract are still present.

There are many aspects to purchasing a home and these are just some of the steps. Home buying can be an exciting experience and it can also represent a milestone for many people’s lives. Although the process can be fraught with many choices and steps, a competent Realtor® can easily navigate you through the path to home ownership.

Previous Articles:

6 Steps to Homeownership – Step 1: Hire a Realtor

6 Steps to Homeownership – Step 2: Get approved for a loan

6 Steps to Homeownership – Step 3: Begin your home search

6 Steps to Homeownership – Step 4: Negotiating the contract

6 Steps to Homeownership – Step 5: Home Inspections