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What to Expect When Closing on Your New Home


You have everything checked off on the mortgage process checklist above, and have finally made it to the very last, most exciting check mark—closing the transaction, also known as the settlement.  This is the moment where ownership of the home will transfer to you, the buyer, from the seller. But before the closing is final and the keys to your new house are dropped in your hands for good, there are a few things you need to know to help you prepare:

What to Bring to Closing

You’re probably thinking, “What? I thought all I needed to bring was a pen and a gigantic smile?” Yes, this is true, but typically your title company representative and your mortgage loan officer will conveniently provide you with a handy list of what you need to bring prior to meeting in order to make the closing process go as smooth as possible. The buyers list will be slightly different from the sellers list:


  • Photo I.D.—This may include your driver’s license, government-issued photo I.D., or passport

  • Funds for closing—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


  • All copies of keys to the house that is being sold

  • All garage door openers

  • A list of all codes to the house, including key-less entry and alarm system

  • 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. You’ll need to establish a time and place with your real estate agent of where the location of the closing will be carried out. In some cases, it’s customary for your mortgage loan officer to conduct the closing at their office; where as other lenders prefer a real estate attorney or the title company to organize the closing. 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.

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 mortgage loan officer, and a closing agent from the title company or closing 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 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 a new home!

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