What happens at a real estate closing?

I have always had a lot of questions about this!  So what happens at closings?  Where do I go for it?  Who will be there?

In Minnesota,we  use an independent third party to close the real estate transaction.  Most of the time it takes place in a title company (sometimes located in your real estate agent's office).  The closer will go over all of the documents that you will need to sign.  She will explain all of the information to you and if you have questions, she should be able to answer your questions.  They will notarize the mortgage and after closing send the mortgage to the county to be recorded.

The mortgage company will send a closing package to the title company.  Your closer will work up the final numbers based on the fees from the mortgage company, the title fees and any state/county registration/recording fees.  That form is called a settlement statement and the mortgage company gets a copy of it to approve prior to your closing.

Once your closing starts, you will sign several forms – many of them you may have seen before, some of them are new.  The most important part is to make sure your name is spelled correctly, your property address is correct and the interest rate on the mortgage and note is accurate. 

Usually your real estate agent is at the closing, the buyers and sellers are there (unless it's a foreclosure or a new construction sale), and frequently your loan officer is there.  Sometimes the seller has a different closer, so there may be two closers there.

If you have any questions on any of the documents, make sure you ask.  If you are the type of person that wants to read every document before you sign it, ask your closer if you can get a copy of some of the documents ahead of time.  They may be able to get a copy of the note and mortgage for you to read – or at least a generic one.  The mortgage is a legal document that basically says you must make your payments on time or the bank can foreclose on you!! 

The closing usually takes less than an hour.  In fact, usually it takes about 20-30 minutes to go over all the forms and then the closer will go copy all the documents and cut any checks they need to.  That can take another 15 minutes!  After that, you will get copies of all the papers you signed and you also get the keys to your new house!! 

It is an exciting time that can also be a little scary!  Make sure you ask questions if you have any.  When you leave the office you are now a homeowner!!!  I still remember the first house I bought and how excited my husband and I were when we left the closing!

Leslie Vanderwerf, Advisors Mortgage - EmailWebsite


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Currently a Senior Loan Officer at Cross Country Mortgage LLC, it's hard to believe I have been in the mortgage business for more than 25 years and have worked with Sharlene since 2000! I love sharing mortgage insights here each week and helping people finance their homes. Listening helps me find the right program for you!

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