Real estate closing, or settlement, is the final phase of selling a home. It can take on almost a ritualistic significance – each step is not unlike the order of service in a wedding. By now, you (or, more often, the escrow company) have received a deposit from the buyers, a title search has been completed, there has been a home inspection and any related renegotiation over the final price, and the mortgage lenders have approved the sale. It’s been a long wait, but it’s finally time to set a date and finish the process.
Although your real estate agent and lawyer will make sure you’re ready on the big day, here’s what you can expect at your real estate closing:
● Have your keys ready. On the appointed (and typically long-awaited) day of the real estate closing, you, your lawyer and your real estate agent will meet the buyers, their real estate agent and lawyer. Pleasantries will be exchanged, as will the deed to your house and the keys.
● Get your writing hand ready. There will be many pages of documents to be signed, both for you and your buyers – selling a home takes a lot of paperwork! Typically, your real estate agent or lawyer will walk point out exactly where you and the buyers need to sign, and they will usually bring extra pens, just in case.
● Get paid. Once everything has been signed and sealed, the buyers will hand over a check (usually a cashier’s check). Obviously, it will not be for the full list price of the home – mortgage payments and closing costs won’t be included – but it should still make your trip to the bank to deposit it a pleasant experience. Your real estate agent and lawyer will also need to be paid, but given the price of most homes, that should not seem like much in comparison.
Selling a home can seem like a cumbersome process, but once you’ve reached the real estate closing, you’re at the end of the journey. After that, it’s time to hand over the keys and celebrate!