The closing meeting is where ownership of the home is officially transferred from the seller to the buyer. The closing agent coordinates all of the document signing and the collection and disbursement of funds. The main role of the buyer and seller at the closing is to review and sign the numerous documents related to the sale and the mortgage loan and to pay the closing costs.
Most of the people involved with the transfer of the property will attend the closing. The closing is a formal meeting typically attended by the buyer(s) and the seller(s) (and their attorneys if they have them), both real estate sales professionals, a representative of the lender, and, of course, the closer from University Title Company. The meeting takes about one hour and is usually held at the office of University Title Company. In some situations it is held at the office of an attorney representing the buyer or the seller.
The steps below explain what happens during and after the closing meeting:
1. First, the closing agent reviews the settlement sheet with the buyer and the seller and answers any questions. Both the buyer and the seller sign the settlement sheet.
2. The seller’s closing documents are reviewed and executed. Then the seller is dismissed. The closing agent then asks the buyer to sign the other loan documents, such as the mortgage note and Truth-in-Lending statement. Evidence of required insurance and inspections is also presented (if it wasnt previously given to the lender).
3. If everyone agrees that the papers are in order, the buyer (and possibly the seller) submits a cashier’s check to cover the closing costs and the balance of funds due (if applicable). And, the check from the lender covering the mortgage amount is submitted to the closing agent.
4. If the lender will be paying the annual property taxes and homeowners insurance for the buyer, a new escrow account (or reserve) is established at this point.
5. Once the transaction has funded, the keys will be given to the buyer.
6. After the meeting, University Title Company officially records the mortgage and deed at the county clerk’s office. This legal transfer of the property may take a few days after closing.
7. University Title Company will not disburse the funds to everyone who is owed money from the sale (including the seller, real estate professionals, and the lender) until the transaction is ready to be recorded. It is at the point of deed recording that ownership transfers.