Step 29 to Buying a Home: Attend Closing

Buying

It’s closing time! 

Closing location is determined by the title company chosen by you. Once closing is scheduled, we recommend calling to confirm your movers one last time.  Make sure they have the proper sized crew and truck to efficiently complete the move.  If you are moving out of a condo and are not on the first floor, let them know, especially if your building doesn’t have an elevator. Most closings take approximately 1 hour but can take longer. While moving on the same day of closing is not recommended, if you are moving on the day of closing please be sure to give yourself enough time to complete the closing before you need to meet your movers. 

A few important reminders for closing: 

♦ Bring your photo ID with you (ideally a driver’s license or passport) 
♦ Bring your checkbook (just in case) 
♦ Bring copies of your wire transfer receipt for the deposit and closing costs 
 
Before you go to closing, call the Title company to verify the address. Closing takes approximately 1 hour, however, it can be as short as .5 hour or up to 2 hours if there are problems. On average, expect to be finished in 1 hour. At closing, in addition to you, there will usually be the following people present: 

The seller’s agent. He or she will look over the documents, sign where needed and be available should any problems arise. 
The title officer.  The title officer makes sure everything is signed properly, sends all of the signed documents to the underwriter for one last review and issues any refund checks at the end of closing. Your title officer will sit right next to you and will go over all of the paperwork with you, explain when your first mortgage payment is due and tell you where to send it, etc. Basically the buyer’s attorney runs the show. 
The buyer’s agent.  We will ensure everything goes smoothly. 
The sellers may or may not be present at closing as they may have pre-signed all of the documents.  
And YOU
 
  
A note about spouses who are not on the mortgage loan: 
Even if your spouse is not on the loan, most of the time your spouse must sign the mortgage to waive homestead rights (providing certain protections from creditors). Talk to your lender if you are divorced or getting divorced. You may need to bring additional documentation, such as a divorce decree. Even if your spouse is not on the deed, for a home, your spouse usually must sign the deed to release homestead rights (providing certain protections from creditors). 

During closing make sure you understand how and when the taxes get paid and how to get the exemptions (homeowner, veterans, disability and senior citizen) you are entitled to as these exemptions usually save you several hundred dollars per year. Your title officer should review this information with you in detail at the closing, but if not, be sure to ask. 
At the very end of the closing,  you’ll receive a copy of the Closing Disclosure or ALTA.  Hold on to this! You’ll need it next year when you prepare your taxes.   

Last, but not least, you’ll get your keys and can now officially move in! Congratulations new homeowner!