The Home Sale Closing Process
A home sale closing is the end of the process of buying a home. It is the point at which the seller gets paid and the buyer receives title to the property. In addition to the seller and buyer, the parties present at a closing are usually the following:
- the closing agent;
- a representative of the title company;
- a representative of the lender;
- the buyer’s and seller’s respective real estate agents; and
- a notary public.
At the closing, the buyer will deliver the funds to the seller through a combination of a down payment previously made, loan proceeds, and funds at closing.
The title company, whose job it is to ensure that clear title to the property is transferred at closing, will collect money from the buyer and the lender. The down payment will have already been made to the title company.
On closing day, the lender will provide a check for the loaned funds and the buyer will deliver a check for the balance of the purchase price, plus the closing costs. The title company’s agent, who is often the closing agent, will disburse funds to the seller and anyone else due payment, such as a lender who has a lien against the property.
A lot of paperwork will be exchanged at the closing, including the Settlement Statement (HUD-1). This document contains all of the information that pertains to the transaction, including the sales price, all of the settlement charges for the buyer and the seller, the down payment amount, taxes and insurance payments to be made, and other items. All of the parties to the closing can look at this document and see how their interests are represented.
When everyone walks away from the closing, the buyer will have a deed to the new property, the seller will have a check for the proceeds, the real estate agents will have their commission checks, and the bank will have a promise to pay from the buyer. The title company will have its fees and one last job to do–the filing of the necessary paperwork with the government office charged with maintaining property records.
Now, here’s the important part for you to be aware of if you are the buyer … when you take title to your home, it ideally will get titled in the name of your living trust, so that if anything happens to you (incapacity or death), your loved ones will be able to take care of everything without conflict or court intervention.
If your home is titled in your name, your family will have to go to Court to get the authority to handle selling your home, refinancing it or even if they keep it.
If you’d like to ensure your family stays out of Court and out of conflict if and when something happens to you, schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session, during which we can review your existing planning or look at the State’s plan for you, if you have no planning at all, and then design a plan to ensure things would go the way you want for your loved ones when you can’t be there.