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What Happens When Closing On A Home Sale?

What Happens When Closing On A Home Sale?

Are you closing on a home sale soon?  At Real-ativity, we want to educate and inspire you to navigate the world of residential real estate.  You have read up in our “smarts” section for all the steps to either sell or buy a home.  You have a fully executed contract and a closing date is set for the near future.  Now, it’s time to have a look at what to expect when closing on a home sale.

Before Closing On A Home Sale

  1. The first step before closing on a home sale is to determine who will conduct your closing, where it will be, and when.
    Closing agent name/ Company:
    Closing agent phone number:
    Closing Date:
    Address of Closing:
  2. Protect yourself from wire fraud. It happens all the time. BEWARE of last-minute emails.
    Get the names and numbers of TWO people who can confirm wire instructions, save them on your phone. Use them when you are at the bank.
    *Name & Phone:
    *Name & Phone:
  3. Ask the closing agent directly what to expect and to bring with you.
    • Cashier’s check or wire transfer receipt? How much?
    • Your “CD” (Closing Disclosure) for comparison
    • Agent/Attorney
    • Co-Borrower
    • Checkbook for last-minute changes
    • HOA Approval
    • Drivers License/Passport/ID
    • What happens if you walk at closing? What do you owe the seller?
    • Look for errors and to make sure you have a clear understanding of the loan terms
    • Compare your Closing Disclosure to your Loan Estimate: Make time to review the CLOSING documents carefully

4. Are the loan type, interest rate, monthly payment, and other key terms the same as I expected?

  • Read all of your closing documents, if not in advance, then at closing.  Is my personal information correct on all of the documents?
  • What happens if I don’t pay my loan?
  • Do the key numbers (loan amount, monthly payment, interest rate) match exactly across all of my documents?
  • How can I exercise my Right to Cancel (refinance only)?

 Do a final walk-through of the property before closing to ensure everything is as it is supposed to be with your agent.

At Closing

  1. Bring these things to closing:
    • A cashier’s check or proof of wire transfer for the exact amount of money you need to close (double-check the wire instructions, BEWARE of scams!)
    • Your Closing You’ll want to compare it to the final documents one more time
    • Your Agent, or lawyer, if you want an advocate at the table
    • Your co-borrower or the person who is co-signing your loan
    • Your checkbook, in case there are any last-minute charges
    • Your driver’s license or passport
  2. Get answers to these questions at your closing:
    • How will I pay my taxes and Homeowners Insurance, are they included in my monthly payments, or do I have to pay them on my own?
    • Where do I send my monthly payments?
    • Will I save money by making bi-monthly payments or extra principal payments?
    • How do I pay Homeowner’s Association dues?
    • Who should I call if I have questions after closing?
    • When will I get my title insurance policy?
    • Will my payments ever change?
    • Will I be notified when I no longer have to pay mortgage insurance?
  3. Take your time:
    Ask questions. You have a right to read and understand your closing documents, no matter how long it takes. Make sure you are 100% comfortable.
  4. Save your ENTIRE Closing file as it includes these important documents:
    • Closing Disclosure
    • Promissory Note
    • Mortgage / Security Instrument / Deed of Trust
    • Deed, a document that transfers property ownership (purchase only)
    • Right to Cancel (refinance only)

Watch Out for Post-Closing Scams

Marketers target new homeowners; YOUR DEED AND MORTGAGE are recorded public records.

  • Solicitations for new credit cards or home equity lines of credit. If you want to opt-out of these solicitations, call (888) 567-8688.
  • Solicitations from home improvement contractors. Not only should you wait before making major investments, but scams are common. Research a contractor’s reputation and always get three quotes before choosing a
  • Solicitations for “mortgage protection (life) insurance” often sent in official-looking envelopes with your MORTAGE COMPANY. Most homeowners are better off with standard life insurance, which is more flexible and usually cheaper.
  • Offers to structure bi-weekly payment plans. You can easily set this up yourself, for free.
  • Refinance offers that don’t save you money. Don’t refinance too soon. The closing costs are not worth it.


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