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Closing on a Home

A Real Estate Closing, involves transferring ownership of a house or a condominium from the seller to buyer. The real estate closing itself, is typically held at the office of the lender’s attorney (the “closing attorney”) or the local Registry of Deeds.

All the necessary paperwork is completed to finalize the transaction between the buyer and the seller, and all funds required for the transaction are collected in the form of a wire transfer or sometimes a certified check). Once the necessary documents are prepared, signed and recorded at the Registry of Deeds, the title (i.e. ownership) is considered transferred to the new home owner (learn more about Buying and Selling a Home here).

Do I need an Attorney for my Closing?

At the closing, the seller and the buyer should be represented by an attorney because of the importance of the many documents that need to be signed, and the large sums of money that are being exchanged. Even the smallest error can result in the loss of thousands of dollars. All documents requiring signing should be considered carefully and must be explained thoroughly to all parties. The parties must also be assured that all of the obligations described in the Purchase and Sale Agreement have been fulfilled. Finally, items such as water and sewer charges, real estate taxes, rents, condominium fees, etc. must be adjusted properly between the buyer and the seller on the settlement statement and closing disclosure.

What Happens on Closing Day?

Some other things that will happen on the day of closing include the following:

  • The home buyer will do a final walk-through of the home (usually, on the morning of the closing). If any problems arise a resolution must be negotiated at the closing with all parties and their attorneys.
  • The lender’s attorney, and your attorney if present, will review the Closing Disclosure (“CD” and formerly known as the HUD Settlement Statement) with the buyer and seller, showing all charges incurred by all parties.
  • The buyer will sign the mortgage, promissory, note and a stack of other papers, agreeing that if he or she doesn’t make payments to the lender, the lender is entitled to foreclose and sell the property and apply the sale proceeds against the amount the buyer owes.
  • The seller will sign some paperwork and provide the Deed to the buyer.
  • The Deed, Mortgage, and some other documents, will be recorded at the Registry of Deeds. The Deed will specify the manner in which the new Buyers will own the property (learn more about ways to own property here).
  • The seller will provide the keys to the house to the buyer.
  • The buyer will obtain a copy of his or her Owners Title Insurance Policy shortly after the closing (if such a policy has been purchased from the attorney closing the loan).
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