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What happens at a real estate closing?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2023 | Real Estate Closings

Owning a home is the goal of many Mississippi residents. Being a homeowner after years of renting can be exciting, as you look forward to spending many years enjoying your new home.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, the homebuying process can feel incredibly complicated and overwhelming. Even if you have purchased a home before, you are still likely to have questions and want guidance through the process.

The final step in the homebuying process is the real estate closing. This is a date and time when you meet with the sellers of the home to complete and sign final documents, pay fees and receive the keys to the home.

It is important to know what to expect at your real estate closing, so you are not taken by surprise if anything unexpected happens.

Preparing for your closing date

Prior to your closing date, you probably signed a purchase agreement, which lays out the terms of the sale. There is usually a waiting period of several weeks to months between signing the purchase agreement and your closing date.

The purpose of this waiting period is to allow many different steps to be completed. These steps commonly include securing a mortgage on the property, completing any inspections or making repairs to the property.

As a final step before your closing date, you will complete a walk-through of your new home to confirm that everything looks good. The sellers are expected to be fully moved out by your closing date.

Who attends the closing

When you meet with the sellers on your closing date, there will likely be other people there, such as your real estate agent and/or the lender. An attorney can also attend the real estate closing with you to help you review and sign the documents.

There are several documents you will sign. Some of them include:

  • Closing disclosure
  • Loan estimate
  • Mortgage documents

The closing disclosure states the terms of your mortgage. You should receive this document a few days prior to your closing date, to give you a chance to review it against your loan estimate.

Your loan estimate is the document that contains detailed information about your mortgage, including the mortgage terms and interest rate. You should also receive an escrow statement, which identifies any payments your lender will make from your escrow account during the first year of your mortgage.

Mortgage note and deed

You will receive a mortgage note and a mortgage deed. The mortgage note states the loan terms and what steps the lender can take if you do not make your payments.

The mortgage deed is the document that secures the loan and provides your lender with a claim to your home if you do not make the payments according to the mortgage terms.

What to bring to the closing

In addition to signing these documents, you will pay various fees. These could include property taxes or additional closing costs.

These fees normally cannot be paid by personal check, so bring a certified check or cashier’s check. You should also bring a form of identification and proof of homeowner’s insurance.

Knowing what you are signing and being prepared can help the closing process go smoothly. Once closing is over, you can move into your home, perhaps even the same day, which is why avoiding any issues on closing day is so important.