Closing FAQs

What is a closing?

Closing, which is also known as “settlement” or “escrow,” is the event where the title to a property is transferred from seller to buyer. Closing is typically held in an office, such as that of an attorney, title agent or title insurance company, and involves the completion of all the necessary paperwork to finalize the agreement between buyer and seller. In addition, all financial issues are settled at closing—closing costs—and once the title is successfully transferred, the necessary documents are prepared, signed, and filed with local authorities.

What do I need to bring to closing/settlement?

All you’ll need to bring is yourself, along with two valid government issued picture IDs such as a Driver’s License, Passport, or Military ID. Additionally, if you are bringing money to the closing, these funds will need to be “certified funds.” Certified funds can come in the form of a cashier’s check, teller’s check, money order, certified check, or wire-transferred funds. In certain instances, you may also be required to bring additional documents, in which case, we will inform you in advance.

How long will the closing/settlement last?

Typically, a refinance will last between 20 and 50 minutes and a purchase and sale transaction will last 45 minutes to 90 minutes.

How far in advance should I contact you to handle my closing?

If you are purchasing, you should contact us prior to executing the contract. There are few reasons for this, but first is so that we can provide review your proposed contract. This will ensure that you do not pay unnecessary charges that can be hidden in some contracts. By contacting us as early as possible, you allow us adequate time to obtain title/abstract documentation on the subject property and clear any outstanding “clouds on title” prior to your contracted settlement/closing date. Additionally, we can better coordinate the closing/settlement with all parties involved including the sellers, purchasers, real estate professionals, and lenders.
If refinancing, you should contact us after you submit your loan application. Do not wait for final loan approval, as the time between your loan approval and closing is often very short. By scheduling with us early, you allow us time to obtain the necessary title/abstract documentation, clear any title issues, obtain payoffs from your current lender, and coordinate closing with your new lender.

What if I can not attend closing/settlement?

In certain circumstances, a “power-of-attorney” can be prepared for you. A “power-of-attorney” is a legal instrument which allows another to sign legal documents on your behalf. Please give one of our attorneys or closing staff a call to see if this is an option that can work for you.

Who attends closing/settlement?

A “purchase and sale closing” is conducted by one of our competent and experienced attorneys or closing agents and is typically attended by the seller, purchaser, and their respective real estate professionals. A “refinance” closing/settlement is typically attended only by the borrower(s) and our attorney and/or closing agent.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are all costs required to close the real estate transaction. They can include (but are not limited to) surveying fees, property taxes, title insurance, attorney fees, agent fees, points, loan origination fees, primary mortgage insurance (PMI), and the balance of your down payment. Prior to closing, you should review your final closing statement or HUD-1 Statement (whichever is in use) to ensure that all the calculations are correct and that you have been given all the credit for deposits and other agreed upon buyer and seller credits. Also recheck all lender, title, and escrow fees to make sure they are accurate.

When can I find out how much money I need to bring to closing/settlement?

Since we rely on third parties such as lenders to provide us with instructions, information, and loan figures for your closing, we often cannot furnish to you the exact amount that you must bring to closing until the day before, or sometimes, the day of closing. However, you should be able to generally rely on your lender’s or your realtor’s good faith estimate for the approximate amount of money you need to bring to closing. If you happen to bring more funds than necessary, we will refund back to you any excess amount upon completion of the closing.