Home Closing Process
The closing is the last step in the process of buying a house. It is the day that you complete a real estate transaction and the final transfer of money and keys takes place. At the end of the closing, you'll officially own a new home.
What to Expect at Closing
Most closings involve two steps: the closing on the purchase of real estate and the closing on the mortgage loan used to buy that real estate. To complete these two steps, deeds, mortgages and other required documents will be signed or delivered. The closing will be handled by an escrow agent who acts as the neutral third party that holds the legal documents and funds for the buyer, seller and, at times, a lender. The agent will distribute all necessary documents and funds according to lender instructions and ensure that both the seller and the buyer meet their contract responsibilities.
What should I bring for a closing?
- Two forms of identification. One must be government-issued and include a photo, such as your driver’s license or passport. The other must have your name printed on it, such as a Social Security card, credit/debit card, insurance card, wholesale membership card, library card, etc.
- Certified Funds (cashier’s check) made payable to the closing company. A wire fund directly to the closing company’s escrow account is also acceptable. Please contact your settlement agent for wiring instructions.
- All parties on the loan (and their spouses) will need to attend to sign the applicable loan documents.
How long will closing take?
Most closings take about one hour for a sale transaction or 30 minutes for a refinance, but this can vary. Closing on a home is a life-changing event — at the end you’ll be a new homeowner or own a new home. This isn’t something that should be rushed through over your lunch break. Make sure you have ample time to dedicate to this meeting in the event that it doesn’t go as planned and needs to run longer.