The closing is the time when you receive title to the property. It may take place at a title company, lending institution, realtor's office, or attorney's office. The lender will normally provide you ahead of time with an accounting of funds that you will need to bring to the closing.
The lending institution may have difficulty in providing you with exact closing figures well in advance. Ask the lender for a reliable estimate at the loan application interview. Then add a margin of safety to avoid any possible confusion.
Because the law provides that any contract for the sale or purchase of real estate must be in writing, verbal promises or agreements not included in the contract are unenforceable. It is important to write into the contract all the gray area items such as appliances, window treatments, lighting fixtures, landscaping elements, etc.
Just before the closing you will want to inspect the house again. Personal property which is permanently attached to the house is normally left with the house. Check to see that all the items agreed upon in the purchase contract are in place and functional. By law you have a right only to those items specified in the purchase contract.
What You Need to Bring First, you'll need a certified or cashier's check for the down payment and closing costs. You will also need an insurance policy for fire/hazard coverage naming the lender as joint beneficiary. You will need to present the paid-in-full receipt for the policy's first-year premium.
Property Survey Your lending institution requires a current land survey to determine the boundaries of your property. Should you plan to construct fencing, driveways, sheds, etc. close to a property line, it is more cost effective to request a full-stake survey at the time of the initial survey.
Title Search An attorney or title insurance company can research a title to make sure the property is free and clear of any liens, encumbrances, or taxes. Most title hazards will show up in a title search. This is an examination of public records which covers a preceding period of approximately sixty years. You will want title insurance to guarantee full protection.
Title Insurance Generally, there are two forms of title insurance. Lender's title insurance, required by most lending institutions, is normally written in the amount of the mortgage and protects the lending institution from losses resulting from title defects.
Because lender's insurance expires when the mortgage is repaid, you may benefit from the second form of title insurance known as an owner's title policy. It usually is written for the amount of the purchase price of the home. This protection starts the day of the closing and lasts as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property.
Unlike other insurance premiums, your title insurance premium is paid only once, at the closing. By purchasing owner's and lender's protection simultaneously, substantial savings in title insurance premiums can be realized.
After all fees have been paid and documents signed and notarized at the closing, you will receive a copy of each and, most importantly, title to your house.