What to Expect at Closing
If you have followed Steps 1 through 5, you have now succeeded in deciding what type of home is right for you, finding and contracting for a property, securing your financing and obtaining insurance protection. Now you are ready to seal the deal and open the door of what will soon be your new home.
As you draw near to your closing date, review a copy of your Settlement Statement (HUD-1). Ask your real estate professional, attorney or lender to request this document from the title company and review it with you. The HUD-1 provides the total amount of cash you will need at closing and details how those funds will be disbursed. The HUD-1 must be given to the buyer at, if not before, closing.
A final walk-through of the house should be done on the day prior to settlement/ closing. This final inspection gives you the opportunity to be sure the seller has moved out and completed any repairs agreed upon in the sales contract or as a result of a home inspection report. During the walk-through, make sure that all systems (for example, heating and cooling) are working properly and any appliances or other items the seller agreed to leave behind are in the house and in good working order.
In some states, settlements, or closings, are done in a face-to-face meeting of the buyer, the seller, the real estate agents, the lawyers, the title clerk and the representative from the mortgage company. In other states neither the buyer nor seller need be present. The closing can take place at the office of the attorney, real estate agent, or title insurance company. At this time, the buyer will generally have to pay the balance of all monies owed to the seller and closing costs. This money could be disbursed either by your attorney or the closing agent.
|It is very important that you read and understand all documents presented to you at the closing before signing them. Once you have signed them, it is presumed that you are in agreement with, and are subsequently bound by, the terms.|
After all the papers are reviewed, explained, signed and exchanged and the seller is paid, you — the buyer — will be handed the keys to your new property.
Recording of the Deed and Mortgage
The deed and the mortgage that you received must now be recorded in order to establish your clear title to the property. This is usually done by the title agent or your attorney. Be sure that these arrangements are made and completed as soon as possible after the closing. Request that a copy be provided to you.
Making Your Dream a Reality
Although the real estate process can be complex, purchasing your new home can be a rewarding experience. As mentioned earlier, this is one of the largest and most important investments that you will make in your life. You are looking for more than just a roof over your head. You are looking for a home, a place to express your values and lifestyle, a place to share time with family and friends, a place to retreat at the end of the day.
Advanced planning and making sure you have educated yourself regarding the process of buying a home can relieve a great deal of the anxiety and represent the first steps in achieving your dream.
|Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Home|
|Step 1: Shop for a Mortgage Loan It pays to shop when looking for a loan.|
|Step 2: Find a Home Create a list of must-haves and nice-to haves.|
|Step 3: Make an Offer Get advice before you place an offer.|
|Step 4: Home Inspection, Title Search and More Buy your home with open eyes.|
|Step 5: Insure Your Home The right insurance protects you from financial ruin.|
|Step 6: Seal the Deal: Understanding your Settlement Statement (HUD-1).|