What to Expect on Closing Day
You’ve searched for the perfect home for months and the big day is finally here – closing day. It can seem a little daunting, especially if this is your first time buying a house, so we’ve got your back on what to expect and what to bring on closing day.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON CLOSING DAY
On the day of your closing, block off a couple hours of your schedule to tackle the paperwork. You may not need that long, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You won’t want to rush through and blindly sign all the paperwork – didn’t your parents teach you not to sign something you haven’t read?!
It’s also recommended not to move in on closing day. There may be an issue with the closing that may take longer than anticipated and delay acquiring the keys. Plan to have the movers arrive the day after you close on the house.
Pro Tip: Before heading to the office, eat a small meal or at least bring along a snack. You’ll need the brain food.
WHO TO EXPECT ON CLOSING DAY
You may or may not see the seller of your home. Depending on where you live, you’ll either sit down together to go over paperwork, or you’ll have separate appointments. Either is okay! There should always be a closing agent. They may be in the form of a title officer, escrow company officer, or an attorney, but they’ll be there. The closing agent acts as a neutral third party to help both the buyer and the seller achieve their goal. The agent also has all the necessary knowledge should either party have any questions. Your real estate agent and/or attorney may also be there on the big day. Check with your state to determine if an attorney must be present at the closing.
Pro Tip: Even if an attorney is not required in your state, you may still want him/her to be present – especially if it’s your first time buying a home.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING ON CLOSING DAY
Besides the snack mentioned earlier, you’ll want to bring some documents – but these are necessary.
- State-Issued Photo ID: Make sure to bring a driver’s license or passport ID with you so the closing agent can verify your identity.
- Cashier’s or Certified Check: This is important – do not bring a personal check or cash. The closing agent will tell you how much the down payment and closing costs will be at least one day before closing. They will also tell you who the check should be made out to and if it needs to be broken up in any way. Looking to perform a wire transfer instead? Then make sure this is done a few days before closing to ensure there isn’t a lag or delay in the deal.
- Proof of Insurance & Receipt: Before you can close on the home, you need to prove that you’ve insured it and have paid the annual policy. Bring both the proof of insurance and the receipt in case there are any questions.
- Final Purchase & Sales Contract: You’ll likely not need this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry should anything come into question.
HOW TO TAKE THE TITLE OF THE PROPERTY
There are three common ways that the buyer can take the title of the property.
- Sole Owner: The sole owner of a property can be an unmarried person who will take the title in their name. This is the easiest form of title.
- Joint Tenancy: If a couple (married or unmarried) purchase a home together, they would choose joint tenancy. If one of them dies, the full ownership will transfer to the survivor.
- Tenants-in-common: This is the choice when multiple people buy a home together. They may have equal or unequal parts of the home and can sell their shares as they so choose.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SIGNING THE LAST PAPER
Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and smile. You just bought a house! Now, go enjoy your new home and crack open a celebratory bottle of bubbly!