A real estate “Closing” is the procedure by which the title to the property is transferred from the seller to the purchaser. If the purchaser has obtained a loan, the lender’s required documents are signed and executed at this time.
The closing attorney’s role at closing is to represent the lender’s interest and the closing attorney is not authorized to provide legal advice to the buyer or the seller. You are more than welcome to have your attorney with you at the closing. But most people in Florida do not feel the need. Feel free to consult with your own attorney, if you feel legal advice is needed.
Prior to the Closing
· You will need to obtain Homeowners Insurance and provide proof of intended coverage prior the closing. This must show the lender as loss payee. Have your insurance agent contact our office and we will be glad to supply them with the pertinent information needed.
· If the terms of the contract have changed make sure we have been made aware of these changes. This may affect the loan amount or fees that will need to be adjusted. Handle disputes regarding contract terms, price negotiations and repairs prior to the closing.
· Prior to the closing date the loan officer should advise you on the approximate amount of funds needed at the closing. We make every effort to provide an accurate amount needed to close the transaction. But please note that a “Good Faith Estimate” is merely an “estimate” and may not include some items that appear in the final calculation, such as owner’s title insurance, homeowners dues, adjustments to the per day pre-paid interest, funds needed for the escrow account and other fees.
· Contact your real estate and/or seller for any final details that need to be worked out prior to the closing.
At The Closing
For a typical closing, plan on spending about one hour’s time with the closing attorney.
· You will need to bring a photo identification and either certified funds or a cashier’s check made payable to yourself. You can endorse it over to the attorney at the closing. If it is made out for too much the attorney will refund the overage. If it is not enough you may write a personal check for the difference. You may also need to bring other items required by the lender.
· All parties will review of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement detailing costs and make any adjustments if necessary.
· You have a right to read all of your closing documents before you sign. The closing attorney will give you concise explanations of each document. The closing documents must be executed as written. No changes may be made to the wording of the lenders closing loan documents.
· A review of the termite clearance letter obtained by the seller indicating that the letter is not more than 30 days old and verifying that no active infestation was found and no structural inspection was required.
· The disbursement of the proceeds of the transaction and a payoff of all current liens against the property.
After the Closing
To complete the closing of the transaction, the attorney will do the following:
· Record in the county land records all documents such as the warranty and security deeds.
· Return to the lender the completed loan package.
· Disburse all funds in accordance with the HUD-1 Settlement Statement.
Real estate closings vary by state but this should give you an overview of what will take place. If you have any question speak with your loan officer prior to the closing,