Buying a home can be equal parts exciting and stressful, so when the time comes to close on your new home you want the process to be smooth, without any last minute delays. While your real estate agent will guide you to a successful closing, there are a few things that you should know—and can do to prepare—to ensure that at the end of the day you are a happy new homeowner.
Who Will Be There?
The closing agent is a neutral third-party person, oftentimes a title officer, an escrow company officer, or an attorney, who is trained to ensure that everything related to your closing is completed correctly and successfully. You and the seller likely agreed on who the closing agent would be as part of the original offer on the home. In addition to the closing agent, you may also have your real estate agent or an attorney present.
What Should I Bring?
Much of the legal paperwork will be prepared in advance by the real estate agent, lender, and title officer, but there are still a few items that you are responsible for bringing to closing:
- Photo ID: Your signature will need to be notarized multiple times throughout the closing process, so you must have a valid, state-issued photo identification with you.
- Money: You are responsible for having the downpayment and closing costs available at the time of closing. The Good Funds Law passed in Ohio in 2017 requires the electronic transfer of funds if the amount is more than $10,000. This means that arrangements must be made in advance for the transfer of funds to insure that it is available at the time of closing.
- Homeowners Insurance: If you will be purchasing your new home with a loan, the lender will require you to furnish a certificate of homeowner insurance for the home. Your lender also may require wind, flood, or earthquake insurance, too, depending on where your home is situated.
- Final Purchase Contract: You may want or need to check details in the closing documents with the original contract, so having it with you is always a good idea.
What Should I Do Before Closing?
Before you arrive for your closing, you should review all aspects of the purchase to ensure that the requirements of the agreement have been met.
- Clear the Title: When you purchase a home you are taking legal control of the title to that property and establishing legal ownership. Your lender will require that a title search be completed to ensure that no one else has a claim to that property. You also will need title insurance to protect you from legal claims made on the property in the future. The homebuyer has the right to select the title company used, and your real estate agent will provide recommendations to you.
- Take a Final Walk-Through: Most sales contracts allow for a walk-through of the home 24 hours prior to closing. This ensures that the home is in the same condition as when you made the offer and had the home inspection (if applicable) completed.
- Review Your Closing Disclosure: If you are getting a loan, you will want to review the HUD-1 Settlement Statement to ensure that the terms of the loan, monthly mortgage payments and any additional fees you may be responsible for are what were originally shared with you in the loan estimate. You will want to discuss any discrepancies with your lender.
Buying a home is often times the single largest investment that you will make, so once the paperwork is complete and the keys are handed over, be sure to celebrate! Contact Ohio Real Title today to help you prepare to close on your new home.