A real estate closing is the process of transferring real property from one owner to a new owner. For first time home buyers, and even seasoned home buyers, real estate closings can seem like a mystery. However, we have created a simple guide that briefly explains each stage of the closing process.

Step 1: You sign a purchase and sale agreement and send it to our office. After you send it to our office, we will contact you to start the next steps, which may include setting a time for your closing and asking for any additional contact information.

Step 2: Our office orders a title report for the property. A title report will show liens on the property, and the chain of ownership for the property. These documents are pulled from the public records that are located at the superior court in the county where the property is located. If there are any liens or other clouds on title, then they must be “cleared” before the closing can proceed.

Step 3: Time to sign! When you come to our office to sign the documents necessary to purchase your new home, one of our attorneys will walk you through the process and explain each document. Buyers sign numerous documents, but sellers typically do not sign many documents at closing. Some important forms you will encounter are the warranty deed, security deed, note, settlement statement, and closing disclosure. The warranty deed is the document the seller will sign that transfers the property from seller’s name to buyer’s name. The security deed is a document that gives the lender a security interest in the property. The note lays out the terms of your loan. It typically states the amount you are borrowing, your interest rate, when your payment is due, and any penalties associated with paying late. The settlement statement has the financial breakdown of the transaction. It states the purchase price, earnest money, seller credits, lender credits, proration in taxes and HOA fees, recording fees, seller payoffs, buyer payoffs, and any other miscellaneous charges. The closing disclosure states the same information as the settlement statement, but is in a different format for the lender.

Step 4: The transaction is funded. The seller receives his/her funds from the sale of the property.

Step 5: Your documents are recorded with the superior court of the county where the property is located.

Step 6: Once the warranty deed is recorded with the superior court, we will mail it to you.

If you want to learn more about the closing process or want to schedule your closing with us, please give us a call!