Steps of Closing

Starting the process

A sales contract is signed by the buyer and seller and delivered to the closing agent, usually with a deposit from the buyer into an escrow account. The escrow agent starts the closing process by opening a search of the records. Tax information, loan payoffs, survey (if necessary), homeowner/maintenance fees, inspections/reports, and hazard and other insurances as well as additional legal papers are ordered.

Title search and examination

This is a search made of the public records. Records searched include deeds, mortgages, paving assessments, liens, wills, divorce settlements, court records, home owner associations, etc. and other documents affecting title/ownership to the property/asset. Title examination/examination of the records is the examination of the documents found during the title/ownership search that affect the title to/ownership of the property/asset. This is when verification of the legal owner is made and the debts owed against the property are determined. Upon completion of the search and examination, a commitment/preliminary report is prepared and reviewed and sent to interested parties.

Preparation and Review of Documents

The escrow officer reviews the requirements to transfer ownership as well as the legal and loan documents. The escrow officer will also assemble charges, prepares closing statements, addenda and schedules the closing date.

Settlement and Closing of the Transaction

The escrow agent oversees the closing of the transaction to ensure that all parties are satisfied. Seller signs the deed/transfer of ownership and closing document and the buyer signs the new note and mortgage when applicable. The sellers loan is paid off. Seller, real estate professionals, attorneys and other parties involved in the transaction are paid at the closing.

Post Closing

Before or after the signing has been completed, the escrow/settlement agent will forward payment to any prior lender, and pay all parties who performed services in connection with your closing (if they have not been paid). The transaction documents are recorded in the country in which the property is located. Title insurance policies are prepared and sent to the new lender and to you when applicable. This all happens without any further actions by the buyer or seller.