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    Homebuying & Selling | 3 min read

    Closing on Your Home Loan? Here's What to Expect

    First of all, congratulations! Buying a house is not always a simple process, but if you’re at the point of closing on your home, you’ve already checked off almost everything you need to do to become a new homeowner. There’s only one more step to get through—closing the transaction.

    This is the moment you’ve been waiting for—when ownership of the home will transfer to you, the buyer, from the seller. Before the closing is final and the keys to your new house are in your hands for good, there are a few things you need to know to help you prepare. In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the process of closing on a home so you’ll be prepared for the final stage of your homebuying journey.

    What to Bring to Closing

    Your title company representative and your mortgage loan officer should provide a handy list of what you’ll need to bring prior to meeting in order to make the closing process go as smooth as possible. The buyer’s list will be slightly different from the seller’s list:

    Buyers:

    • Photo I.D.—This may include your driver’s license, government-issued photo I.D., or passport
    • Funds for closing—Proof of wire transfer to the title company, a certified or cashier’s check that’s made out to the title company or closing company
    • Unfinished documentation—Any remaining paperwork or documentation that hasn’t been provided to both your title company and your mortgage loan officer (e.g. documentation of the sale of property that happened just prior to your purchase to provide proof of funds for closing on your new home).

    Sellers:

    • All copies of keys to the house that is being sold
    • All garage door openers (if any)
    • A list of all codes to the house, including key-less entry and alarm system (if any)
    • Any remaining paperwork or documentation that hasn’t been provided to both your title company and your mortgage loan officer
    • Funds for closing—A certified or cashier’s check that’s made out to the title company or closing company, only if these costs are not being deducted from the official sales price
    • Photo I.D.—This may include your driver’s license, government-issued photo I.D., or passport

    Where to Go to Close on Your Home

    As a first-time homebuyer, you might think the closing will take place at the actual house you’re purchasing, followed by a drop of the house keys in your hand after signing the dotted line with your John Hancock, but this is never the case.

    Your real estate agent will establish a time and place for closing. In most cases, it’s customary for the title officer to conduct the closing at your real estate agent’s office or at the title office. It is typically done where it is most convenient for all parties.

    Regardless of who conducts the closing, it’s most important for you to have the exact location with a copy of the address on hand. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of everyone’s phone numbers involved in the transaction in the event you’re running late or get lost.

    Are you starting the homebuying journey? Click here to find a pro that can help you begin the financing process!

    The Closing Process

    You’ve almost made it; you’re in the final stretch! You’ve arrived at the last set of “processes” to go through in order to achieve your final goal of closing on your home. All of the players have taken their spot at the closing table and are ready to carry out the transaction. Customarily, seated at the table are the seller, buyer, your real estate agent, and a closing agent from the title company.

    The closing agent is primarily there to guide all of the parties from beginning to end in the closing process. The “final stretch” requires both the buyer's and seller's signatures on various legal documents, ultimately transferring ownership of the home. The buyer will sign the promissory note (the amount borrowed from the lender) and a mortgage (deed of trust) that is the document that pledges the property as security for the loan. After all of the paperwork is finalized, signed, certified, or when the cashier's checks are collected, you will receive copies of all signed documents that pertain to you from the closing agent.

    Then it happens, the moment you've been waiting for, you will receive the house keys, garage door opener(s), and any key-less entry and alarm system information on the home. In return, the seller will receive the check from the title company for the profit of the home sale. Everybody wins!

    Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your new home!

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    Homebuying & Selling

    Bridget McGee

    Bridget McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama, Sr Loan Originator (NMLS#196068), SWBC Baltimore Branch, has more than 18 years of experience in the mortgage industry. She serves on the ECOA committee of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtor’s, is actively involved in the Women’s Council of Realtors, and teaches both continuing education and personal development classes. She is on the board of Mother’s Fighting for Others, a grassroots charitable organization that supports St. Monica’s Orphanage in Kenya, an active member of her church and very involved in other industry and community events and organizations.

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