You’ve gone through the real estate process thoroughly. You did your homework, researched all the neighborhoods and areas that fit your lifestyle. You’ve gone to all the open houses in Boulder, finally found the perfect home and price-crunched to ensure you could actually afford it. You’ve made an offer on the house of your dreams. Maybe the seller even countered it. In the end, you both agreed to a price and terms with which both parties were comfortable. Now what?
Welcome to the closing on your new home. This is the day when the new buyer and the home’s previous owner finish the property’s legal transfer. Once this process has been completed, the buyer receives the keys to his or her new home.
This sounds simple, right? In reality, there are several key things that need to take place to ensure a proper closing. The buyer needs to prove to their mortgage lender that they purchased insurance on the property by presenting a homeowner’s insurance receipt. The buyer and seller have to sign paperwork showing that the price listed on the contract is what they agreed on, as well. In addition, closing costs need to be paid to the closing agent by the buyer, seller or both, depending on what was agreed upon. After this, all other relevant documents must be reviewed by both buyer and seller.
In addition to paperwork, an escrow account must be established. The closing agent does this in order for the buyer to cover things like property tax, homeowner’s insurance, interest that accrues in the interim and sometimes even private mortgage insurance. The buyer must then sign all documents associated with the mortgage on the property and execute them by signing. At this point, the lender can present the closing agent with a check that will cover the agreed upon mortgage amount to purchase the home.
Lastly, the buyer receives keys to the property, as well as its title. The title and sometimes other legal documents must be recorded so there is a public record of the buyer’s new interest in the property. If property isn’t properly recorded, it opens the buyer up to other peoples’ claims that they own the property. In some instances, a shifty seller sold the property to two separate people. Depending on the state in which you live, in some instances, the person who records their title first is considered the true owner. Recording is the final step in the closing process and, once complete, the house fully belongs to the new buyer.
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