You’ve searched, found a home you love, made an offer that was accepted by the seller, and gone through the inspection process. Now it’s time for one of the most exciting days in your home-buying journey: closing!
Closing, also referred to as escrow, is the last step in financing and purchasing real estate before you can officially call a home or property yours. During this time, you will sign any necessary documents, pay closing costs and fees, and the property will officially be signed over to you by the seller. You will also need to have certain documents and items with you to show to your mortgage lender.
Because there are so many pieces involved in closing, we’ve put together a checklist to help you make sure you’ve got everything you need to make the day go as smoothly as possible. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned pro, it’s always helpful to have a reminder of what you need, so there aren’t any delays in taking ownership of your new property.
What to bring to closing
Your purchase agreement
You and the seller will lay out the terms of the sale beforehand in the purchase agreement. It’s helpful to bring a copy of this with you when you come to closing so you can compare it to the final closing documents to make sure everything checks out and meets your expectations.
The title company is required to verify the identity of every person listed on your mortgage, so make sure everyone has at least one form of photo identification with them. This can be a state-issued driver’s license or ID card or U.S. or foreign passport.
Payment for your closing costs
You’ll need to pay your closing costs at this time, but typically you can’t do this with cash or a personal check. Instead, real estate closings usually require a certified cashier’s check or wire transfer to cover the fees. You will know the amount you will be paying at closing before the closing meeting, so make sure you have the cashier’s check with you in the appropriate amount if that’s what’s required in your closing transaction. If a wire transfer is required, your real estate attorney will probably have you transfer the funds before closing.
Proof of insurance
Just like when financing a car, your mortgage lender will require you to have an insurance policy on your home in order to protect their, and your, investment. Your policy’s declarations page- the first page of your policy that highlights your coverage- will suffice as proof of insurance, so make sure to have a copy with you when you come to closing. If you’re unsure how to get a copy of your declarations page, contact your insurance company.
A real estate attorney
Possibly one of the most important people involved in your real estate purchase, your real estate attorney will assure that you have a problem-free closing. Your real estate attorney should be at your side when you begin your real estate purchase journey because they can make sure there are no liens or encumbrances on your prospective property, but you will especially want them with you on closing day. The legal documents associated with the sale of real estate can be complicated, so it’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney who can answer any questions you have and check over the paperwork to make sure everything is in line with your previous agreements to assure you’re not being taken advantage of.
Turn to the Starling Law Firm
Having a knowledgeable, experienced real estate attorney when closing on a home purchase can make the difference between the process going smoothly and having a delay in getting the keys to your new home. The real estate law team at Starling Law Firm has 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 a hassle-free closing experience.