The residential real estate closing process can be confusing for a homebuyer, property developer, or investor. A real estate closing involves finalizing a property sale, which includes signing documentation to trigger the property transfer.
The process takes place during an already stressful time and can be susceptible to possible setbacks. The real estate attorneys at The Farah Law Firm can help you understand what to expect during your closing.
Who Will Be Present at Your Closing?
At the closing, various attendees might be present to represent various interest. While you, as the buyer, are expected to be there to sign off and take ownership of the property, Texas law states that the seller does not need to attend when you do. However, you might expect the following individuals to attend:
- Closing agent: This person facilitates the meeting and oversees the signing of documentation as well as recordation, payments, and distribution.
- Realtor: Both your realtor as well as the seller’s might attend.
- Title search company/escrow representative: It is likely that the closing will take place at your title insurance company’s offices, so expect to see their representative.
- Lender: If a loan has been taken out, the lender will attend to have the loan documentation signed.
- Attorneys: Depending on whether buyers and lenders hire an attorney, one might be present from one or both sides.
Expect to Sign Legal Documentation
The closing process ends once the relevant parties check and sign the necessary property sale documents. The signing triggers the transfer of funds from escrow to the seller and transfer the signed deed to the buyer.
Where applicable, loan documentation will include a deed of trust or mortgage, promissory note, closing statements, and relevant disclosures. A closing disclosure, also known as a loan closing statement or credit agreement, specifies loan information such as the loan’s duration and closing costs.
You are expected to sign and accept the disclosure terms. As such, the process involves reviewing the closing documents to ensure that all is correct.
You will also need to sign federal disclosure forms to acknowledge your understanding of the seller’s legally required disclosures. Other documentation, such as various insurance paperwork, might also be required. The process can sometimes take several hours, as there might be a lot to go through.
Expect to Pay Closing Costs in Cleared Funds
As their name implies, closing costs are expected to be paid at closing. The necessary costs are detailed in the closing disclosure, which will be sent to you prior to the closing, as required by law.
As you have advance notice, ensure that you have checked the document’s details and that verifiable payment of cleared funds is arranged beforehand to be brought to the closing.
The typical method of payment is wire transfer or cashier’s check. If making a wire transfer, bring your receipt as proof that the funds have been transmitted.
It is important that the information in the paperwork is accurate, including your personal details and the calculated costs, since your signature indicates that you agree to the information.
Transfer of the Property Title and Ownership to the Buyer
The buyer’s overall aim is to hold the title and take over ownership of the property. Therefore, you should expect the title company to confirm a clear title — meaning the title is “clean” and free of liens or anything that could jeopardize your ownership — so that your ownership can be established. You can also expect to see the title or warranty deed that transfers the ownership to you.
It can be helpful to hire a real estate attorney to review all of this documentation, work out the amounts required to be paid at closing, and verify important details.
An experienced closing attorney will be able to spot any possible problems, advise you on necessary closing requirements, and answer any questions you might have throughout the process.
The Farah Law Firm Can Help
The real estate attorneys at The Farah Law firm will give you the expert advice and representation you need during your closing. We understand that the process can be overwhelming and will ensure that everything is completed thoroughly and accurately.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate your closing.