Closing involves a sequence of three main events: signing, funding, and recording. These three pieces of the closing puzzle may occur on the same day or over a period of a few days. Either way, the process culminates with you getting the keys to your new home!
Signing: Signing typically takes place at the Title company chosen during the offer process. You will usually be accompanied by your real estate agent. And, if you are a buyer obtaining financing for the purchase, your lender should be present as well. The escrow officer will go over the settlement statement in detail and will give you the cliff notes of the other documents you will sign. You are encouraged to ask questions and seek clarifcation when need (that is why your lender and real estate agent are there). If you would like to read the closing documents in their entirety, we suggest you ask for them in advance of the signing appointment so that you can come prepared to sign. If you are a buyer obtaining a loan, the signing process typically takes about one hour. If you are the seller or a cash buyer it will probably take closer to 30 minutes.
Funding: If any money is due from you at closing, you should bring it in the form of a cashier's check when you go to sign. As the buyer, this would likely include your down payment and closing costs. As the seller, this would only apply if the proceeds from the sale were not large enough to cover the debt owed on your property. If you need to bring money to closing, your real estate agent, lender or escrow company should inform you of the amount prior to the signing appointment. Funding takes place when these monies and the lender funds for the new loan are deposted with the Title company.
Recording: This is the last step. After everything is signed and the funds are received, the deed is recorded and ownership officially transfers from the seller to the buyer. At this time, the buyers agent will likely call the buyer to let them know the home is theirs and arrange to get them the keys! The listing agent contacts the seller to let them know that the deal is done and when how they can expect to receive their proceeds from the sale.
It is important to understand that the property does not actually change ownership until recording has occured. Even if you have signed documents, if funding is held up then the final transfer of the title could be held up as well. Despite everyone's efforts to keep such hold ups from happening, sometimes they do. If you are planning on moving in over a weekend, we suggest you make your signing appointment and proposed closing date in the middle of the week instead of the end....that way, if things get delayed for a day, you will still likely be able to close and get keys transfered before the weekend.
Information courtesy of Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. Information provided by IMLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non‐commercial use, it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. IMLS does not assume any liability for missing or inaccurate data.