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A Handy Guide on What to Expect When You’re About to Close

Posted by Liz Williams on Monday, February 10th, 2020 at 8:51pm

Buying a home IS A BIG DEAL! An exciting one. By the time you arrive at the closing table, however, many Buyers (and Sellers) are tired. It's been a long ride, and the last thing you want are any unwelcome surprises.

Even experienced homeowners ask, "What do I need to bring to closing?" A proper understanding of what to expect can make all the difference in your home closing process.

Fortunately, you’re working with a great team of professionals, and you should be able to anticipate a smooth house closing. It truly takes a team to get to the closing table in today's real estate market. And I’m here to help!

Prior to the Big Day

What should you do in the days and weeks prior to your house closing?

Homebuyers should stay in close contact with their lender and myself  in the days and weeks leading up to the closing. This will enable all necessary documents and financial arrangements of the mortgage are in place.

I will arrange a final walk-through prior to closing to confirm the property's condition, including a re-inspecting any repairs negotiated as part of the sale.

In today’s market, lenders are required to issue a Loan Estimate (LE) at the time of application, and then a Closing Disclosure (CD) within three days of closing.

Buyers should compare the LE and the CD carefully for any errors and review these documents carefully with the lender.

What do I bring to Closing?

Stretch that hand! And get ready to sign!

According to the Arizona Department of Real Estate, buyers may see as many as 100 documents at closing, with approximately 60 or so requiring a signature.

In addition, AZDRE recommends you bring the following items as you prepare for a closing:

  • Two forms of identification

  • All required closing funds required

  • Your checkbook in case of minor changes or incidental charges

If your closing funds were overestimated, no need to worry, expect to receive a refund for any over-payment at closing, or within a few days.

Is this a family affair?

The most common participants are the Sellers and their real estate agent, and the Buyers and their real estate agent -- but Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and Juan Pedro down the street are all welcome to join.

Occasionally, Sellers may sign documents in advance remotely. This is because the bulk of the house closing documents are signed by the Buyers.

House closing timeline

A thick pile of closing documents may be intimidating. So much so that you may be tempted to blow through the signatures without reading what you're signing. While not all documents are as pertinent, there are a few forms that should always be reviewed very carefully.

One of the most important documents that homebuyers should review is the Closing Disclosure. With today's disclosure requirements, hopefully you've had a chance to review your preliminary CD, compare it to the initial LE, to ensure you are being charged appropriately for your loan, legal and title fees.

The CD should itemize the fees charged to the homebuyer, including amounts required to set up an escrow account for property taxes and homeowners insurance. Some loans can require as much as six months of payments placed into an escrow account at the time of closing.

It’s also important to check the bank note to confirm that the total amount borrowed, loan terms, interest rate and payments are accurate.

The other closing documents are generally non-binding disclosure forms that signify the borrower has received them.

After the last page is signed, you'll get copies of each document for your personal records (aka the closing packet)

After closing on a house, the title agent should record the deed. It's generally at this time that you can celebrate as you're handed the keys to your new home. 

Congratulations: YOU ARE A HOMEOWNER!

 

 

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