What to Expect on Closing Day

You’ve found your dream home, completed all the inspections, and checked every item off your to-do list except for one: closing. Congratulations! You’re so close to becoming a homeowner. If you have everything in order, your closing process should be simple. Before you get the keys to your new house, though, you’ll have to sign on the dotted line at the closing table. Let’s talk about what you should expect on the big day.

Pick the right date for your closing

There are a few things you should think about when it comes to scheduling your closing. The first is that it may take more than an hour, so don’t bank on closing during your lunch break. Maybe take a half day, or a few hours at the end of the day to ensure that you have enough time to close. After all, buying a home is a big decision, and you don’t want to rush any part of the process. The second important thing to remember when choosing a closing date is to avoid closing at the end of the month. You need to build in a little wiggle room if something were to go wrong. You don’t want to wait till the last day of the month incase a problem arises that needs a few days to smooth out.

Do a final walk-through

Most buyers are allowed to do a final walk-through before closing. A final walk-through isn’t an inspection — at this point, your inspections are already completed. Your final walk-through simply helps ensure that the property you are about to buy is in good condition and hasn’t changed or been damaged since the last time you saw it. Usually, your real estate agent will arrange your final walk-through anywhere from a week to 24 hours before closing. Set aside some time to thoroughly check the property in your final walk-through.

Who will be there on closing day?

Besides the home buyer (you) and a co-borrower or co-signer, if you have one, there will be a few other people there on closing day to help:

  • The seller and their real estate agent

  • A representative from the title company

  • Attorneys (yours and your lender’s, if you have one)

  • A closing agent, who conducts the meeting

  • Your lender (sometimes, not always)

Let's talk about documents

You’ve probably already noticed that the mortgage process involves many different documents, from proof of income to past bank statements. Closing will be no exception. In fact, most of your closing day will consist of you reviewing and signing various documents. You should bring any document you’ve received throughout the home buying process, including proof of homeowners insurance, a copy of your inspection reports, and any of the documents your lender asked for during the approval process. You’ll also receive some important documents the day of your closing. At closing, the seller will sign documents that transfer the property ownership to you. You will receive documents pertaining to your mortgage agreement and property ownership. You’ll also have to pay closing costs and make escrow payments. Some of the real estate transfer documents you’ll receive and sign at closing may include:

  • A deed, which transfers the property from seller to buyer

  • A bill of sales, which transfers personal property from seller to buyer

  • Transfer tax declarations

Some of the mortgage loan documents you’ll receive and sign at closing may include:

  • A mortgage note, which is your promise to your lender to repay your loan

  • A mortgage, which is the agreement that puts the property as collateral should you become unable to repay your loan

  • A loan application, which you’ll review for accuracy

  • A loan estimate and closing disclosure

It’s important that you are familiar with all of the closing documents before you sign. If you prepare and review ahead of time, you’ll be ready on closing day. Once you’ve reviewed all the necessary documents, signed, and gotten your keys, you’re officially a homeowner. Make sure you hold onto to all documents you received throughout the process and keep them somewhere safe. Happy homeownership!