Getting Ready for Closing Day

Take the final, exciting steps toward homeownership

The process of closing on a home involves a ton of paperwork and some new faces. The nearer you get to the end, the more complex things can feel. We’ll help you know what’s coming, so you can enjoy closing for what it is: the final, exciting steps toward becoming a homeowner!

Keep in mind…

On closing day, you will likely need to bring a photo ID, a list of previous addresses, your homeowner’s insurance policy, and your “cash to close.” Check with the company managing the closing to be sure.

What is cash to close?

Cash to close is another way of referring to the money you need to bring to your closing day. It is usually in the form of a cashier’s check and includes your down payment plus your closing costs.

Worth considering

If you can afford to hire a closing attorney, we recommend doing so. Closing is where most of the legalese happens, and having a pro on your side to help you understand the documentation is a huge comfort.

Close with confidence

Through closing, you’ll welcome some new people into your life: a third party settlement service will manage all the legal documents and exchange of money between you and the seller. All of the paperwork to transfer ownership to you will get finalized: the closing disclosure, appraisal, mortgage, affidavit, and deed.

It’s a lot! Always ask any clarifying questions you have. Take a break from paperwork-land to do one last walkthrough of the home. In addition to imagining how great all your stuff will look, make sure everything is ready for you to move in.

Did the seller complete all the repairs they promised to make? Now’s the time to make sure.

Decode the paperwork

The closing disclosure is one of the most important documents you’ll see. It’s where all the final numbers of your homebuying journey come together in one place. The closing disclosure typically includes: your loan amount, itemized closing costs, and annual percentage rate.

One new term you’ll notice on the disclosure is “escrow.” An escrow account is a bank account that’s established for you at closing. Only your loan servicer can make withdrawals from it. Your monthly payments toward annual costs like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance will be held in your escrow account.

Tackle the day itself

You’ll head to the settlement company’s office with all the stuff you need to bring. You’ll double and triple check and won’t forget anything. Your real estate agent might be there, and your lawyer (if you hired one) definitely will be. The seller and their team might be there too. If you’re familiar with all the documents, there probably won’t be any surprises.

You’ll sit at a big table and look everything over one last time and sign your name a bunch of times. Each time you sign your name, you’re stepping closer to being a homeowner. When you are done signing, the deed, the keys, and the home are yours, to keep. Time to celebrate and once that’s done, time to get even more organized. Moving day is coming!

What happens after you close? This is the fun part!