The Closing ProcessAs you will find out, there are several persons working behind the scenes to ensure your transaction closes on its scheduled date and time. Not only are your lender and real estate agent working diligently for the closing, the Closing Attorney and his or her staff of professionals is hard at work on the final stage of the process: preparing the closing. The goal of the Closing Attorney is to make the process of closing on your home a smooth, friendly and professional experience.
Your lender or real estate agent will call to schedule the closing with the Closing Attorney at a time and date agreed upon by the parties involved. The Closing Attorney will assign the file to the Pre-Closer who works with the agents, lender, buyer and seller in obtaining the information required to get the file to the closing table. The Pre-Closer will order taxes, title and a survey, if needed, on the file. Several information-gathering tools are used to determine if there are any outstanding loans, homeowners dues, repairs to collect for, a home warranty, or other information needed by the Closing Attorney to prepare the Settlement Statement. The Pre-Closer will contact the Lender to obtain the Hazard Insurance information. Our Pre-Closer will send the “Seller Info” sheet to the Listing Agent to be completed by the Seller. This info sheet is used to get information from the seller concerning the Seller’s loan numbers, lender’s contact information as well as Home Owner’s Association contact information where applicable. For a copy of our “Seller Info Sheet” CLICK HERE, This must be completed and faxed to our office.
The Closing Attorney prepares the Title Commitment and the Closing Protection Letter for the Buyer’s Lender. Once the title is back and all underwriting issues resolved, the Lender will prepare a closing package for delivery to our office.
Once the lender's Closing Instructions and/or their Closing Package are received, the Pre-Closer begins preparing the Settlement Statement, the package and other documents required to close the transaction. The Settlement Statement is prepared based upon the lender's loan instructions, the terms of the contract, real estate agents' commissions, and any other relevant information needed to provide a concise and accurate Settlement Statement for the parties. Once this is completed and reviewed by the Closing Attorney, it will be sent to the Lender for review and approval. Upon approval, each party will be forwarded a copy of the Settlement Statement. Keep in mind all Settlement Statements are technically considered Drafts and not final until Closing as last minute changes do occur, e.g. collecting of Homeowners Dues or additional taxes for the escrow account.
At closing, the Closing Attorney will collect the original termite letter and bill from the Buyer and any other documents needed. All Closing Attorneys require photo identification for their file from both the buyer and seller. Next, the Closing Attorney will explain the documents requiring your signature starting with the Settlement Statement then the loan documents: Promissory Note, Security Deed, Loan Application, etc.
There may be as many as 50 pages to sign at closing depending on the type of loan. The seller will then execute the Warranty Deed and other documents required by the Closing Attorney. All documents must be executed by the buyer and seller as directed by the Closing Attorney to insure uniformity and consistency in execution. Funds will be collected from the buyer and checks will be disbursed. The average closing lasts approximately one hour, but can take a few minutes longer if the buyer is taking out a first and second mortgage.