Attend the Closing Meeting

Closing (also called Settlement) is the final step in buying a home. Once it's complete, the home is yours.

A number of people attend closing. They usually include:

  • You, the homebuyer.
  • The seller of the home.
  • The closing agent, the title insurance representative, and the escrow agent.
    These can be several different people or one person handling all three issues. Closing agents coordinate the closing by recording closing documents, dispersing funds, etc.
  • The real estate agent.

Steps in the Closing Process

The time between your offer being accepted and the actual closing meeting can be longer than you think. There are a number of steps in between, including:

Setting the closing date.
The closing date is set when your mortgage is approved and you sign a commitment letter with your lender. Make sure the closing date is before your lock-in rate expires.

  • Reviewing the documents.
    Ask for the closing documents before the actual closing and read them carefully. It may be a good idea to have a lawyer review them with you. Understand what you'll be asked to sign before the meeting.
  • Understanding the closing costs.
    Closing costs can include many different things and can add up to a sizeable amount of money. Be prepared. Know exactly what's included in your closing costs [PDF 24K] and the total amount you'll be expected to pay at the closing meeting.
  • Attending the closing meeting.
    Closing meetings are standard in the home buying process, although there are a few states where there are no closing meetings. You'll sign documents like the closing statement, mortgage note, and truth-in-lending statement.

    Proof of insurance and inspections as well any monies due are required before you get the keys to your new home.

The settlement agent or escrow agent should obtain this documentation on behalf of the lender. Check your state laws (your agent or the closing agent can help) - you may not be allowed to use a personal check for any payments due at the closing meeting. In that case, you'll need a certified or cashier's check.

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