How to Prepare for Closing on Your Home

Real Estate Closings

The closing (also referred to as settlement) is typically the final step for a home buyer or seller. It is often a day of both nervousness and excitement. It is helpful to understand what it means to be clear to close, what to expect at closing time and what is required at closing time. It can be a lengthy process that involves a lot of patience, but will be worth it in the end.

Clear to Close

A clear to close is granted by the lender after all loan requirements have been cleared. This may not be issued until shortly before the expected transfer date. In most cases, a tentative date and time to close is identified, however, the clear to close must be issued before a full closing can take place. Mortgage consultants and realtors will monitor the progress of this important step.

what to expect at closing

Now that you are clear to close, you are almost ready for closing time. At closing you can expect paperwork delivery, issuance of funds, and registry of deeds hours. The settlement agent needs documents from the mortgage company and requires enough time to compile the settlement statement. The funds must also be transferred to the settlement agent (unless other arrangements are made). After paperwork is signed, they must be filed at the registry of deeds, which can have specific hours of operation. All of these factors, plus the schedules of the different people in the transaction, will influence the scheduling of a closing.

Prior to closing day, it is a good idea to do one last walk-through of the property to ensure the tenant is moved out and no damage had been done since you were last inside the property.

What is Required at Closing

To ensure a successful closing, it is a good idea to block out 30 to 60 minutes for the closing to take place. Some people that may be present with you when you close are your real estate agent and title company representative and potentially the seller, the seller’s agent and an attorney. Additionally, here are items you should bring with you the day of closing:

  • Legal identification for all individuals who must sign paperwork
  • Any funds owed must be certified (not personal checks).
  • A checkbook for any last minute changes to the closing figures
  • Any documents you have gathered throughout the home buying process

Here is a checklist from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that will assist you in preparing for the big day. Being prepared with the above documents and information will ensure you have a smooth closing process. Once you have reviewed and signed all of the closing documents it is time to get your keys. Welcome to home ownership!