Closing is an exciting time for both home buyers and sellers. Buyers are ready to begin life in a new home, while sellers are preparing to move on. If it’s your first time buying or selling a home, the closing process can seem intimidating. Here’s what you can expect to happen on closing day.
Closing is the final step to buying or selling a home where the buyer and seller will sign official documents transferring ownership of the home. Buyers and sellers typically meet at the title company at separate times arranged by their REALTORS®. With so much information to cover, expect closing to last at least an hour or more. This process isn’t something that should be squeezed into your lunch hour, so plan to take some extra time off from work. It’s also a good idea not to schedule your closing on the last day of the month. Closing a few days before the end of the month provides extra time to handle any last minute issues, from major financing changes to the office printer breaking down right before 5 pm.
All parties involved in the sale or purchase of the home should be present at their respective closing. Both REALTORS® will also attend, along with the title company representative or closing agent. In some special situations where the buyer or seller cannot be present in person, the title company or lender may arrange for them to meet with a notary to sign all the paperwork, which will then be returned to and reviewed by the title company. You’ll need a government-issued photo ID bearing the name listed on all the closing documents. If you’re covering closing costs or making a down payment on the home, you’ll need to bring a cashier’s check for the amount. The title company may also arrange for a wire transfer for large amounts. The seller should bring all copies of the house keys, garage door openers, and any other keys or access codes for the home.
Once all parties are present, it’s time to start signing all the paperwork! At each closing, the buyers and sellers will sign documents transferring and accepting ownership of the home. If the buyer has decided to finance the home purchase, they will sign a promissory note and other documents to secure the mortgage and promise to repay the stated amount. Both parties will also sign the closing disclosure, or settlement statement, which lists all the costs associated with the transaction. The closing agent will explain the purpose of each document, but don’t be afraid to ask questions!
When all the paperwork is signed and reviewed, and the funds are transferred and received, the buyer is the official new owner and the seller has successfully sold their home! Now that you have some insight into what goes on at closing, check out the steps to buying or selling a home in our Austin Buyer's Guide and Austin Seller's Guide. If you have questions about the process, our agents are experts when it comes to Austin real estate. Contact us for more information!