By Ami Shah, Flyhomes Mortgage
Congratulations! You’re only a few steps away from becoming the official owner of your new home.
The closing period—the time between having your offer accepted and taking ownership—is less stressful if you know what to expect.
Deposit your earnest money
Earnest money is a sign of good faith to the seller. Right after you’re done celebrating your win, it’s time to prepare your earnest money deposit.
Your purchase contract lists the amount, payment method, and due date. Be sure to check the terms of your contract to avoid breaching your end of the purchase agreement.
The deposit goes to the escrow company, a neutral 3rd party that handles funds between you and the seller. The escrow company will give you specific instructions, but payment often be in the form of a cashier’s check or a wire transfer.
Unless your contract stipulates otherwise, the deposit will be held by the escrow company until your closing date.
On your closing date, the deposit will be credited towards your total purchase price of the home.
Satisfy your contingencies
A contingency is a safeguard in your offer to allow you to do your due diligence with the purchase and to protect your right to end the contract if the property is not able to meet your standards.
If your contract contains any contingencies (such as financing, appraisal, or inspection contingencies), you’ll also spend the first few days working towards satisfying them.
Just as with the earnest money deposit, there are specified deadlines in your purchase contract. If deadlines aren’t met, you risk the contingency being automatically waived.
It’s important to discuss the specifics with your real estate agent so they can help you stay on track.
Move forward with your financing
If you’re like most home buyers, you’ll need a mortgage to purchase your home. Finalizing your loan has the longest timeline in the closing process (it can take 3-4 weeks), so it’s important to apply as early as possible.
We recommend that you spend the first 1-2 days after your offer has been accepted to shop for lenders.
Once you choose a lender, you’ll need to submit an application (if you haven’t been pre-approved already), sign initial loan disclosures, and provide your income and asset documents for your lender’s review.
If you have a financing contingency as a part of your contract, you may be required to notify the seller of which lender you choose.
Sign the final closing documents
You’re almost to the finish line! Once your lender has finalized your loan approval, they’ll give the clear to close.
Your lender will issue you a preliminary Closing Disclosure, which gives you a final estimate of your loan terms, closing costs, and cash due at closing.
You legally have 3 business days to review this disclosure (once you’ve acknowledged receipt) before you’ll get to sign all of the final closing paperwork.
Within this 3-day time frame, your lender will prepare your final loan documents to sign and send them to the escrow company.
Once the escrow company receives these loan documents from your lender, they’ll contact you to schedule your signing.
Depending on which state your property is located in, the signing appointment will either be on the actual closing date as specified in your contract (common with east coast states) or at least 1-2 days in advance (common with west coast states).
You’ll sign the final closing paperwork with an escrow officer or a notary, and you’ll pay the remaining amount owed for the purchase to the escrow company (again, either by cashier’s check or wire transfer most often).
This marks the end of all of your tasks!
Recording and keys
On your actual closing date, your lender will wire your loan proceeds to the escrow company as a part of funding your loan.
Once the escrow company is in receipt of all proceeds from both you and your lender, as well as all of the signed documents from both you and the seller(s), they will initiate the recording process.
The escrow company will send the deed, the document that officially transfers the title of the home from the seller to you, to the county for recording.
The process of recording is what makes that deed a part of the official county records. It’s at the point of recording you become the official new owner of the home.
Your real estate agent will work with the seller or their agents to get you the keys to your home and it’s all yours!
Want to talk about a mortgage?