Whew, you made it! You have found your dream home, made an offer, stressed through the contract stage, and waited out the home
inspection. You’re in the closing process! Now what? The closing process typically takes about 30 days to complete. Using the Patten Proven Process, Patten Title takes the guesswork and title worries away from buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. We ensure accuracy and commitment from contract execution and earnest money receipt through title plant and examination processes. After the keys are delivered to the new homeowner, Patten Title ensures that the ownership change is filed with the tax office and appraisal district. We then deliver the new title electronically so that necessary paperwork is easy to access whenever needed. We have seen our fair share of closings and can help answer a few frequently asked questions you may have about what to expect when closing.
1. WHO COMES TO THE CLOSING?
There will be several full seats at the closing table. You may or may not see the seller, who is not required to come but could choose to send a lawyer or other legal representation. You’ll also see:
-Your (Buyer’s) real estate agent
-The Seller’s real estate agent
-Closing agent or Escrow Officer
2. WHERE IS THE “CLOSING TABLE”?
Your escrow officer or title company often has conference rooms big enough to host all of these people, and signing the legal papers for a loan and the property transfer can take time. The “closing table” is usually a territory-neutral location with space for everyone that is also comfortable enough for all of the paperwork to be signed easily.
About a week before the final closing, you’ll be notified of your closing location and time so that you can prepare your schedule. Your closing will likely be in the morning or just after lunch; escrow officers avoid scheduling closings too late in the day because bank wire transfers often shut off near 4 p.m.
3. I’M THE BUYER, BUT SOMETHING CAME UP AND I CAN’T BE AT THE CLOSING!
If you think that there may be a reason you aren’t able to attend the closing, talk to your real estate agent in advance. They can help you designate and create a Power of Attorney who can be present on your behalf.
Your real estate agent can also help you set up a meeting with a notary who will be present as you sign the documents and send them overnight to your escrow officer. All of this will likely come at an extra cost, so it is in your best interest to be at the closing table in person.
4. WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE CLOSING PROCESS?
Buyers have lots of paperwork to sign to be able to finalize the purchase of a property. This usually entails property transfer documents plus any loan paperwork. If there are multiple buyers on a property (for instance, you and a spouse on a home or you and a partner on an investment property), signing all that paperwork is a lengthy process.
The paperwork process comes in two parts: the title transfer and paying for the property. It will go much quicker if you don’t require a loan for your new home. If you have secured a loan through a trusted lender, there is additional paperwork to sign.
Don’t rush; take your time to read all of the documents. Many will be explained to you, so you know what you’re signing (the deed, the loan paperwork, disclosure forms, etc.).
5. WHAT IS THE PAYMENT PROCESS?
You’ve already paid earnest money when you started the contract to buy the property. But you’re not done paying yet. Before closing day, your lender will provide you with a figure that includes:
-Down payment for your home
-Any prepaid interest
-Required property taxes
-Prepaid insurance for your home
You can complete a secure wire transfer for this total, or you’ll need to bring a cashier’s check. Patten Title conveniently uses an app called ZOCCAM to help with instant and secure transfers.
6. WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?
Whether you are the buyer or seller, you’ll need to ensure you have your ID. Also, bring any payments required, and your lender may require proof that you’ve secured homeowners insurance.
Ask your real estate agent if there are other papers you’ll need to provide — such as the closing or a copy of the purchase agreement — or if copies of those will already be on hand.
7. I’M BUYING A NEW HOME AND SELLING MY HOUSE AT THE SAME TIME. CAN BOTH CLOSINGS HAPPEN TOGETHER?
Simultaneous closings can happen, but they get complicated. Look back at the list of people who must be at the closing, then double it. Your title agents may not be the same, your lender agents may not be the same, and these are more schedules you have to work around.
Simultaneous closings sound like a great idea because you don’t want to be without a home. Yet, it might be easier to schedule them on the same day instead of at the same time. Consider a backup plan just in case, like a local Airbnb, short-term rental or hotel to stay in while you’re waiting to close on a new property.
8. WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH ALL OF THIS PAPERWORK?
As the buyer, you might come home with copies of your loan paperwork, and your final title will arrive in the mail within 30 days. Some documents, like your closing disclosure, will be necessary to provide to an accountant or tax professional to prepare your taxes.
You can either keep this paperwork with your personal documents at home, so that you have a copy on file in case there are questions, or you can ask to have them digitized and store them in a secure cloud system. Patten Title uses a system called Qualia, that allows you to log in to access your digital documents at any time, should you need them.