The Real Estate Closing Process – What To Expect

Real estate closing is the final step in the home buying and selling process. Once a buyer and seller have agreed on a price, the lender, real estate agent, and title company will work together to set up a closing date. 

On that date, the ownership of the property will officially be transferred from the seller to the buyer. Being aware of what to expect is essential to helping you make the process easier to manage.

Entering Escrow

Closing on any real estate can be time-consuming and complicated. For those reasons, a neutral third party protects all documentation and funding. This process is called escrow, and entering it is the first part of closing. Escrow protects both the buyer and the seller from potentially losing money.

Title Search

Before getting too far into the purchasing process, the buyer needs to ensure the seller has the right to transfer ownership of the property in question. They can find this out by performing a title search on the property. Doing this will help avoid a situation where the ownership of the home cannot be transferred to a potential buyer due to an issue such as a lien on the deed to the house.

Hire an Attorney

The legal documentation needed to transfer the ownership of a property can be complicated, and for that reason, a real estate attorney is necessary to complete the transaction. Hiring a qualified North Carolina real estate attorney will help you finalize the purchase or sale of your property. An attorney can facilitate the title search and help you enter escrow.

Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage in advance can be an enormous help in the home buying process. It shows the buyer that you are serious about closing on their home and that you are financially able to complete the purchase. Pre-approval also streamlines the closing process by providing the bank with most of the documentation they will need to finalize your home loan.

Determine Closing Costs

There are multiple fees associated with purchasing a home that are not included in the purchase price of the home. These fees are often referred to as the closing costs and should be considered when preparing to close on a home. To avoid any unexpected fees or unpleasant surprises, go over the itemized list of closing costs prior to the closing date.

Schedule Inspections

Though they are not always legally required, most lenders highly recommend you get a home inspection. Potential buyers schedule home inspections to discover if the property has any underlying issues that could impact you down the road if your sale is finalized. 

If the home inspection does uncover any issues, you might be able to renegotiate your offer in order to get a better deal or compensate you for the money you may potentially have to spend in the future to fix a problem uncovered during the inspection.

Deposit Funds in Escrow

Although you entered escrow at the beginning of the process, money has not yet changed hands. At this point of the process, that changes as you can now place money into the escrow account. The money placed in escrow can be used to cover your closing costs and any fees associated with escrow.

Perform a Final Walk-Through

Prior to closing, it is always a good idea to perform a final walk-through of the property. This will give the buyer a chance to ensure no damage has occurred to the property and to ensure that all fixtures and items that are part of the purchase price are in place. If anything appears out of the place or is missing, ask your real estate agent about it.

Close The Transaction

After everything is cleared for the sale of the property, all that is left is for you to close the transaction. 

If you are the seller of the property, then you can enjoy any profit that you receive after the title changes hands. The buyer gets to reap the rewards of homeownership and finds joy in the multiple benefits that come with it. 

Regardless of whether you are the buyer or the seller, you can relax knowing that the sale is finalized and no longer something you need to worry about.

Our North Carolina Real Estate Attorneys Can Help

The team at Green Mistretta Law has helped many homeowners over the years with the purchase, or sale, of their homes. We can help you identify potential pitfalls and help ensure the closing process is a smooth one. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help with your closing!