After you’ve gone through weeks of finding your home, doing your due diligence, and writing an offer on it, you’ve finally arrived at the closing table. In the grand scheme of the home buying process, this is where all the magic happens.
Before you sign all the proper documents to finish up a transaction, there are a few things you’ll want to do first:
1. Speak to your agent about getting the closing HUD form. This will help you identify if there were supposed to be any credits involving the seller or if they made any mistakes regarding such fees as your transfer taxes, escrow fees, title insurance, and so on. Be careful about glossing over this, because the people who put the form together are still human, and humans can make mistakes. This form also tells you the cash-to-close amount so you know exactly how much you should wire or write a cashier’s check for.
2. Do a final walk-through of the home. Once you and your agent have reviewed the closing HUD form thoroughly, be sure to walk through the home a final time before signing the closing papers. This will allow you to verify that all the repairs that the sellers promised to make were done, and that no issues have cropped up since your last showing. You’d be surprised how much could change in that time!
Once you’ve finished the final walk-through with your agent and have determined that everything is clear to proceed, you’re now ready to schedule the signing.
When you’re at the signing table with the escrow officer, make sure that everything you reviewed on the HUD form matches what you’re signing at the table. If it does—great! It’s important to be sure that everything you’re signing for matches your expectations.
The closing documents will come in the form of a big, thick packet that you’ll go through and sign. Many of these papers will be ones that you’ve already seen, and that’s not a mistake; they just need you to apply a wet signature to them. Included in this packet will be the natural hazards disclosures, the inspection report, your loan application, your promissory notes, your deed, your trust, and so on.
Once you’ve signed all these documents, you’re now ready to wire in your cash-to-close fundings. When that’s complete, the lender will wire their portion to the escrow officer, who then distributes that out.
The last step in the process is to wait for the county to record the transaction. Following that, you are now the new, official owners of the house. Congratulations! You are now clear to go get your keys and start your new life as a homeowner.
If you have any questions or feel that I missed something, feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you!