At closing, you and your attorney will go through your loan documents (if applicable), the most important of which are your note, mortgage, and closing statement. Though these documents consist of mostly boilerplate language, you should make sure that your attorney has explained them to you sufficiently prior to signing, as this will likely be one of the biggest financial investments you make in your lifetime. Once your attorney has reviewed the loan documents with you, the title agent will send them to your lender for their review. Once the lender confirms that all of the required signatures have been made, the lender will authorize funding. As you are waiting for that authorization, you will review the seller's documents which are drafted by the seller's attorney and consist most importantly of the deed, bill of sale, affidavit of title, and ALTA statement. There are generally additional items which your attorney will need to review such as a paid assessment letter if there is a condo or homeowners' association connected to the property.
Please be aware that if you are securing a loan, with very rare exceptions, you must be present at closing. If you have a lender, at closing you must have a homeowner’s insurance policy listing your lender as an additional named insured and a paid receipt for the first year’s premium. In general, this item should be cleared by your lender well before the actual closing. If a lender is not involved, you should make sure that you have an insurance policy effective as of the date of closing. At closing, you will need a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID so that the title agent can notarize your signature.
Once you have funding authorization from your lender, the title agent will issue any of the necessary checks, keys will be exchanged, and you will officially be a homeowner! The entire closing process, if a loan is taken, generally takes less than an hour and a half. If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact me.