Becoming a homeowner involves several crucial milestones, with real estate closing being one of the most significant. The real estate closing, or settlement, is the final step in the home-buying process. It’s when property ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer. During this meeting, both parties and their representatives gather to review and sign various documents and finalize the sale.
The closing process involves several steps, including reviewing and signing the purchase agreement, transferring funds, conducting a final property walkthrough, and officially transferring ownership through the deed. If you’re a first-time homebuyer in North Carolina or an experienced buyer who just needs a refresh, wondering what to expect during closing can be overwhelming. This guide will address some of the most frequent questions we get from clients about real estate closings to help you confidently navigate the closing process and secure your dream home.
Closing Frequently Asked Questions
What should I bring to my closing?
Bring a valid photo ID, any funds required to cover your portion of the closing costs (usually in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer), the purchase agreement that outlines the terms of the sale, and any other documents your real estate attorney or lender may have requested.
For a more detailed overview of what to bring to closing, check out our North Carolina Real Estate Closing Checklist.
What documents will I sign at closing?
A real estate closing involves signing a series of documents that finalize the sale. Some of the key documents you’ll sign include the Closing Disclosure, which outlines the financial details of the sale; the Promissory Note, which outlines your commitment to repay your loan; and the Deed of Trust, which gives the lender the right to take the property through foreclosure if you default on the loan.
What information does the closing disclosure include?
Sometimes called a settlement statement, the Closing Disclosure is the document that outlines all of the vital financial details of your real estate purchase, including what funds both you, as the buyer, and the seller receive in the transaction. It lays out the loan terms, interest rate, monthly payments, closing costs, potential penalties, and other fees associated with the purchase of the property, like inspection fees, title search fees, and attorney fees.
Federal law mandates that you receive the Closing Disclosure at least three business days before closing, allowing you time to review and compare the numbers. Reviewing your Closing Disclosure with your real estate attorney is highly recommended to ensure the terms outlined are correct.
What are closing costs, what do they cover, and who pays them?
Closing costs encompass a range of fees associated with the real estate transaction. These can include lender fees, appraisal fees, title insurance premiums, property taxes, etc. The responsibility for paying these costs is negotiable and can be shared between the buyer and the seller or may be covered by one party alone, depending on the terms of the contract. Review the Loan Estimate provided by your lender early in the process to understand and prepare for these costs.
Should I attend the closing, or can my real estate agent sign my closing documents instead?
While your real estate agent has been a valuable partner throughout the process, your presence at the closing is typically required. It ensures that you fully comprehend the documents you’re signing and can address any last-minute questions.
You can, however, attend the closing remotely via video conferencing because North Carolina allows for remote online notarization. This option provides added convenience, especially when appearing in person might be challenging.
Contact Starling, Rodriguez & Associates
Understanding the real estate closing process in North Carolina is essential for a successful home-buying journey, and having a real estate attorney to guide you through closing will make the process much easier and ensure that your interests are protected and that the closing process is carried out accurately.
In North Carolina, you have the right to choose your closing attorney. The real estate attorneys at Starling, Rodriguez & Associates have years of experience helping clients close on real estate purchases, and we can help ensure that you receive ownership of your new property free of any encumbrance and without being taken advantage of. Contact us to schedule a consultation and get on your way to receiving the keys to your new home with a hassle-free closing.