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Ask a Real Estate Lawyer: What Happens at Closing?

Buying a new house is not like picking up a gallon of milk at the grocery store. Instead of seeing what you want, swiping your card, and walking out with the milk you bought, it takes time and significant preparation to purchase a home.

As real estate lawyers, we know how exciting it is to put an offer in on a house and get that offer accepted. But you have to wait until closing day to officially own the property and start to move in. On closing day, you will meet with a few key legal representatives (your real estate lawyer included) to sign your mortgage paperwork and other documents, make any payments you owe to complete the purchase, and receive the keys to your new home.

More specifically, you will complete the following activities at your closing appointment:

  • Review and sign all of your loan documents
  • Provide proof of homeowner’s insurance and completed inspections
  • Provide a certified or cashier’s check to cover the down payment, prepaid interest, closing costs, insurance, and taxes
  • Set up an escrow account to cover homeowner’s insurance and property taxes

Although it does not happen very happen, closing can get delayed if there are problems with an inspection, appraisal, or other real estate transactions that impact yours. But knowing what to expect at closing is one of the best ways to prevent delays and ensure the seamless transfer of the property to your name.