What to Expect During the Closing Process

You’ve found the home of your dreams, made an offer and successfully arrived at an agreed residential sales contract or purchase agreement. After it’s signed, then what?  Now the countdown begins to a “closing” as its termed in some places, or the “close of escrow” in others. Either one is a process that will take a little time....

The route through either likely started with decisions made in your offer. After it’s signed, most real estate contracts or purchase agreements identify who will handle the closing or escrow. Depending on where you live, the neutral settlement agent could be a title company – such as Old Republic Title – or an escrow company…or perhaps an attorney. 

With your selection, it’s likely you also instructed the settlement agent to perform certain tasks, one of which may be forwarding you information gathered about the property. Examples here include a title company’s offer to issue you a title insurance policy, provided as part of another decision you made – to acquire some protection for your investment. Known as a Commitment in some places, or Preliminary Report in others, this important document is often provided through your settlement agent.

At the same time they’re getting information to and from those involved, your settlement agent also prepares quite a few important documents, several of which you’ll need to sign the day you close. Among those is the Settlement Statement – soon to be known as the Closing Disclosure. As the names suggest, this statement sums up your transaction, specifying the financial and related matters at its heart. It’s one of the documents your settlement agent prepares and uses to confirm that the terms of sale are met, the funds will be distributed to the appropriate parties, the documents are properly executed and ready for recording… and of course – you receive the keys to your new home. Here's a tip, remember to bring your photo ID!

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes on with, and into a closing or escrow – much more than what’s mentioned here.