The Residential Closing Process

Purchasing a house or condominium is an intimidating task. However, when you break it down into a step by step process, things get a lot less daunting. Hiring a lawyer experienced in real estate can ease your concerns, and you can feel secure in knowing that all items will be taken care of. Whatever the case, learn every step of the real estate purchase process first:

Step 1. Find the Right Home

There are many different factors that go into selecting the perfect home. Most of these factors are up to you to decide, things like cost, location, and the physical appearance of your home. Once you’ve found a house that’s a good fit for you, it’s time to get serious. The ins and outs of real estate closings can be complicated. To ensure success it’s best to seek help from trustworthy professionals who are well versed in the buying and selling process. First, get pre-approval on a mortgage with a mortgage lender to avoid any future disappointment. After that, you should hire an experienced Realtor.

Once you and your Realtor have found a good fit, they will draft up an offer to purchase. This is a great time to take a look at the Real Property Disclosure Report and make sure there are no problems with the home. This is also a good time to think about getting a real estate lawyer involved.

Step 2. Set the Buying Process in Motion

You’ll want to start by forwarding a copy of your offer to purchase or purchase contract to your lawyer before signing. Basically, both buyer and seller need a lawyer to make sure everyone stays honest, the money gets handled appropriately, and the purchaser obtains clear title.

The lawyers will be responsible for holding all money and preparing or reviewing documents necessary for the transaction until the entire process is complete. While one lawyer can act for both the Purchaser and the Seller, there is usually not much cost savings for either party. In most cases, it is in the Purchaser's and Seller’s best interest to each have their own independent lawyer to protect their interests.

Step 3. Conduct a Title Search

One of the first things your lawyer will do is search the title or land records. The title search yields all records and documents that are pertinent to the property. From there, the documents found in the title search are examined to make sure there are no title defects, liens against the property, or other issues that cannot be easily rectified. If nothing turns up here, you’ll be free to proceed with the transaction.

Step 4. Inspect the Home

Home inspections are absolutely critical. Both basic home inspection and pest inspection (including termites) are crucial to guarantee lasting satisfaction in your purchase. They are very important to have done for most real estate transactions. It’s crucial that you hire your own independent home inspector. You certainly don’t want one connected to the seller in any way. Anyone who has a vested interest in the sale is a potentially bad choice.

Step 5. Prepare Closing Documents

Once contract negotiations have been solidified, the Real Estate Lawyers will begin to prepare closing documents. In anticipation of the final closing, the buyer should round up all of the paperwork they’ve collected throughout the home buying process. This generally includes, but is not limited to, mortgage documents including any mortgage broker’s contact information, sales contract, proof of title search, proof of homeowner’s insurance for full replacement cost.

Please note that you will be required to have picture identification with your full legal name to complete your purchase. Most attorneys will not accept any funds needed to close unless it is a wire transfer.

Step 6. Give It A Final Once-Over

It is in the best interest of the Buyer to perform a final walk-through of the property with your Realtor before the closing date. It is most effective if done within a few days prior to the closing. The purpose of this is to confirm that all conditions set in the sales contract have been met and no damage has been done since the initial viewing of the house.

Step 7. Close the Sale

You will meet with your Real Estate Lawyer to sign your purchase documents and mortgage documents on the closing date. If possible, the lawyer should give you a preview of all documents to be signed at closing. This appointment will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.  During it the Lawyer will review all the documents with you and have you sign all the legal papers. You should wire your funds due prior to attending the closing.

After all parties have signed all required and appropriate documentation, the closing agent will disburse the funds according to the Closing Disclosure or Closing Statement.  They will also record the Deed in the land records, and any other documents necessary to give clear title to the Buyer and the Lender. Arrangements are made between the Realtors or the parties in order to keys and access to the home.

Step 8. Make Yourself at Home!

At this point, you’ve successfully made it through one of the most momentous purchases of your life. It’s time to crack that bottle of champagne or celebrate however you know best—and commemorate this enormous benchmark.

If you’d like some help making it through the real estate closing process with the least possible resistance, a real estate lawyer can make all the difference. If you have a need of such services, do not hesitate to contact us today.