The Closing Table

The Closing Table

Our friend Thomas Williams with Johnston, Moore & Thompson is here to explain the closing and the process...


Purchasing or refinancing your home can be a stressful time. You are faced with so many decisions and deadlines throughout the process. Many times the greatest stress is the unknown. A successful real estate transaction begins with good real estate agents and lenders and ends with a smooth and comfortable closing. Great real estate professionals take the mystery out of the real estate transaction saving you the stress of wondering what surprises may be lurking around the corner.


One of the mysteries of purchasing or refinancing your home is the real estate closing. While we at Johnston, Moore & Thompson take great pride in providing you with superior customer service, there are things that you should know that can take some of the mystery out of the real estate closing.


What You Should Bring to Closing


Here is a list of things that you should bring to closing in order to make your experience as stress free as possible:


1. Two (2) Forms of Identification. At least one of these forms of ID must contain a photograph. Acceptable forms of ID include a Drivers License, a Non-Drivers License, a Military ID card, a passport, a Green Card or a Social Security card. Any of the forms of ID that you bring with you to closing must be valid and current. If you are the seller, only one form of ID is required, but it must contain your photograph.


2. Money. In a purchase transaction, the Buyer will almost always need to bring funds to complete the transaction. In a refinance transaction, the borrower(s) sometimes needs to bring funds as well. We require that all funds are either wired or are in the form of certified funds. Certified funds include a cashiers check or a certified check.


3. Keys. Unless there is some other agreement, the seller should bring the keys to closing. Many sellers also bring warranty information and guides to various appliances as a courtesy to the buyer.


4. A Smile. Relax, you are in store for a smooth and stress-free closing. Other than the items listed above, we will have everything else you need.


What Happens at a Closing?

A real estate closing is not much different than checking out at the grocery store. It is essentially the point of sale. The buyers have finished their shopping, picked out exactly what they wanted and now it is time to finalize the deal. The buyers are like the customer at the store, the sellers are like the store itself and the closing attorney (while he or she does not generally work for the seller) is like the cashier at the check out line. After the closing is finished, the buyers will have the real estate they have chosen, the sellers will have the proceeds from the sale. The entire exchange will have been facilitated by the closing attorney. While a real estate transaction can be much more complex than checking out at the grocery store, the basic principles are essentially the same.Image title


When you arrive at closing you will be warmly greeted by our courteous receptionist who will then notify the closing attorney that you have arrived. You will be escorted to the conference room where the closing will take place. Along with the closing attorney, you can expect to see the other party (either the buyer or seller) , the real estate agents and on many occasions you may see a representative of the lender. Before the closing begins, you will be asked to provide your identification and a copy will be made for the attorney’s file.


The closing begins in earnest when you are presented with the TRID Disclosure which is normally called the Settlement Statement. The Settlement Statement is much like the receipt you receive at the grocery store. It contains an account of all of the money that is changing hands in the course of the transaction. Several copies of the Settlement Statement are signed by the buyer and the seller as well as by the attorney. Click here for an in depth look at the Settlement Statement.


After the Settlement Statement is signed by all appropriate parties, the seller will sign the deed and the attorney will collect any necessary funds from the buyer. While keys are exchanged, the attorney will deliver the check to his or her assistant for processing. The attorney will return and the buyer and seller will sign a set of disclosure documents. Click here if you would live to be emailed a copy of our disclosure documents before closing.


After the disclosure documents are signed, the seller will be finished with his their signing. Assuming the lender’s funds have arrived, the seller will be given their check along with a copy of the Settlement Statement and will be free to leave. The buyer will then sign the lender’s documents. Click here for a detailed look at the loan package. Once the lender documents are signed, you will be given a copy of the Settlement Statement and of all the loan documents you signed (unless you request that they be emailed to you). At that point, the closing will be concluded.


What are the Closing Attorney’s Responsibilities?


The closing attorney plays several roles in the real estate closing. He or she usually does not represent the buyer or seller, but instead is at the closing on behalf of the lender. The attorney is responsible for making sure that the lender’s instructions are followed exactly. The attorney is also responsible for being the escrow agent. Much like the cashier at the checkout line, the closing attorney collects and disburses money and delivers possession of the real property. The attorney collects funds from both the buyer and the lender and disburses them to the seller and to several service providers.


The attorney is also responsible for making sure that the required documents are signed at closing and delivered to the proper parties. He or she will oversee the signing of the lender’s documents and of the deed and make sure that all appropriate documents are recorded properly at the Judge of Probate’s office. In many cases, the attorney is also a title agent. He or she then becomes responsible for ensuring that both the buyer and the lender have clear title to the property and will issue the appropriate title insurance policies.


Allison Chappell Headshot
Author:
Phone: 256-529-8860
Dated: November 2nd 2015
Views: 979
About Allison: Military Relocation Specialist Associate Broker CSP ...

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Crye-Leike Realtors
1591 Hughes Road
Madison, AL
256-286-2719