Real Estate Closing Process
AGREEMENT & INVESTIGATION
The Contract | The first step in getting to the closing table is negotiating the terms and completing the offer to purchase contract. We generally suggest working with real estate agents who have a greater understanding of the market and can provide a more accurate estimate of home values. However, if you choose to place an offer unrepresented, our attorneys are available to work with you in negotiating the terms.
Due Diligence Period | Signing the contract triggers a duration of time known as the due diligence period. During this period as defined in the contract, the buyer may examine the real property and the seller cannot entertain any other offers. Any negotiations for repairs should be made between the buyer and seller prior to the expiration of due diligence. Our office highly recommends obtaining a survey on the property if there was not one recently performed.
FINANCING & PREPARATION
Balancing Fees | In transactions where a buyer is obtaining a residential mortgage, the lender will be required to provide a statement of fees to the buyer. This is known as the Closing Disclosure (“CD”). In addition to the CD, the buyer should confirm the same Cash-to-Close amount matches our office’s ALTA Statement (“ALTA”). The ALTA is used in accordance with the CD to ensure our trust account balances with the disbursements and fees collected on the CD.
Preparing for Closing | After the Due Diligence period expires, the parties should confirm the “Settlement Date” as agreed in the Offer to Purchase contract shall be the date the attorney will meet with the parties for signing. Any party signing documents at our office shall be required to provide a valid government-issued photo ID upon arrival, such as a valid driver’s license or current passport.
Wiring Money | If funds are to be exchanged via electronic transfer (also referred to as “wiring funds”) you will be e-mailed days prior to the scheduled closing date. Due to increased wire fraud activity, you must call our office to confirm the wiring instructions you received verbally prior to initiating the transfer.
Signing | At or before the closing ceremony, the seller will sign documents necessary to convey title to the property, primarily consisting of the Deed, a lien waiver, the Seller’s ALTA statement. The Buyer will need to sign the ALTA statement and a survey waiver if applicable. Additionally, when a lender is involved, the Buyer will have to sign all documents required by the lender, which notably includes the Closing Disclosure, Promissory Note, Deed of Trust and debt-related tax documents.
Recording | Once the closing ceremony is finished and all documents have been signed by all parties, all documentation is sent back to the lender for approval. The lender will then provide authorization for our office to record the Deed and Deed of Trust with the Register of Deeds for the county in which the property is located. Recording is done electronically and typically completed the same day as the closing ceremony, but note if your closing is scheduled after 3:00 EST, recording may not occur until the following business day.