You’re buying a property. Maybe it’s a house, maybe a business, but what comes next is what is known as a real estate closing or settlement. That is the meeting where documents are signed, money is exchanged and the ownership of property changes from one person’s hands to another – in this case, to yours. So what actually happens at closing?
A Real Estate Closing, or Settlement, is Where the Property Legally Changes Hands
If you are buying a home – or any other property, for that matter – with the use of a loan, there will be what is called a closing or settlement. This is the meeting where documents are signed, payments are made and the transaction becomes final. The buyer becomes the owner and the seller becomes a person with a check in his hand who no longer owns that particular property.
At a real estate closing, a number of parties typically are represented, including:
- Your real estate agent;
- Your title insurance company;
- An escrow company;
- Your attorney;
- The seller’s attorney.
Your lender might or might not send a representative. Depending upon the state you are in, all of the parties will be in the same room and sign the required documents in turn. However, you might be able to sign documents electronically, and closing could take place by mail or over the internet. In some states, the only parties present might be the seller, the buyer, and the closing agent. Everything depends upon state law. Regardless of the procedure, you will sign documents that will make you the owner of a property and obligate you to repay a lender for that purchase.
A Closing is Where the Property Changes Hands
Ultimately, the closing or settlement meeting for a real estate transaction is where the property changes hands. Whoever is in the room, they all are legally authorized to purchase or sell the property. Once they all sit down at the table, several events will happen:
- The buyer will give a check for the purchase amount of the property at issue;
- The seller will sign the deed over to the buyer, officially transferring ownership to the buyer. The seller also will turn over the keys to the property.
- The title company or its representative will register the deed with the appropriate government office, recording the sale.
At the end of the closing, you should have a thick sheaf of documents that you and the seller have signed. These documents make legal the transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer. Among them are:
- The settlement statement, which sets forth the financial details of the transaction;
- A mortgage note stating the buyer’s promise to repay the loan and the terms of that repayment; and
- A mortgage or deed of trust securing the mortgage note, giving the mortgagor the right to take possession of the property if you fail to meet the terms of the note.
If You Are Considering Purchasing a Real Estate Property in the Vidalia Area, Contact the Real Estate Attorneys of Smith and Tillery
If you are contemplating purchasing a property in the Vidalia area, you should consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney before closing. The lawyers of Smith and Tillery are experienced in real estate law and can assist you in ensuring that your closing goes smoothly. You can reach us at (912) 537-3030 or through our online contact form.