Buying a home is exciting, and now the big day is here — closing day! You may be wondering what to expect before you pick up your keys. In this guide, our team at Gateway Realty answers some key questions first time homebuyers have about closing on their new home.
Where will the closing take place?
Traditionally, closing on a home takes place at an-in person meeting at the offices of your settlement agent, but in some states it might take place at the lender’s office or an escrow company’s office. If you are paying cash, you and the seller can negotiate a location, which might mean your attorney’s office or the seller’s attorney’s office.
However, with today’s technology, virtual closings have become more and more common, and you may be able to complete the closing with digital signatures. You can also give your lawyer power of attorney to sign the documents, which can be useful for longer distance moves. Keep in mind that virtual closing is not legal in all states.
What paperwork do I need to bring?
You will need to make sure you bring all of the paperwork you need. For the buyer this means:
- The note, which provides evidence of your mortgage
- The deed of trust or mortgage
- Your finalized loan application
You will take possession of the deed, seller’s affidavit and transfer tax declarations, all of which you will need to sign. Most title companies also provide you with a digital backup of these. Put them all in a very safe place.
How long does closing take?
Expect to spend a couple of hours or so signing documents and transferring the funds from escrow to their final destination, whether it’s the seller’s bank account or their lender.
Do you get your keys right away?
Typically, yes. Avoid closing late in the day or on a Friday, as that can cause delays. The paperwork has to be “recorded” by the county before you take possession, and if it’s late in the day, you might have to wait until the next business day. Make sure this is actually done! Obviously, if you have agreed to a contingency allowing the seller a bit of time to move out, you will get the keys when they leave.
If you closed virtually, you will make an arrangement with the seller or the seller’s agent to collect the keys.
If you are buying a home, Gateway Realty can help. We are experienced buyers’ agents who can guide you through the closing process and the other aspects of purchasing. Contact us to find out what we can do for you!