From Contract to Closing
Congratulations! A seller has accepted your offer. Before you can take possession of your new home, however, several important details must fall into place. Count on The Honeywill Team to explain each step in the process and answer your questions.
While each transaction is unique, the most important steps include:
COMPLETE A HOME INSPECTION
Assuming this contingency was in your offer, schedule a thorough inspection of the property with a qualified home inspector. If you like, the Sercice Providers link on this website can help you identify several inspectors to choose from. The inspector should provide you with a written report detailing any flaws found in the home, including information about the severity of his or her findings. If severe problems are found, your contingency clause will permit you to cancel the contract without obligation. The Buyer may request any inspection they feel is nesscary and pays those inspections.
The seller is entitled to capies of inspections, upon request.
Alternately, you may want to negotiate performance and payment for any significant repairs noted in the inspection. But also remember that no home is perfect and small repairs and maintenance issues should not derail the transaction or require another round of negotiations.
REQUEST ATTORNEY REVIEW
You may ask an attorney to review your sales contract and, if desired, schedule his or her participation in your closing.
FINALIZE YOUR MORTGAGE
Securing a mortgage can be more complex and expensive than many consumers realize. Numerous documents and details must come together in a short period of time. Make sure you have promptly supplied your lender with everything they ask for so your financing is in place for closing day.
GET READY TO MOVE
Moving may be the biggest job you
face in buying a home. Be sure to get a jump on these
preparations. First, decide how much help you’ll need. If
you plan to hire a moving company, compare costs and make a
ATTEND A FINAL WALK-THROUGH
A pre-closing walk-through is a final check to ensure that the home is in the same condition it was during the inspection, and to make sure all contracted items, such as appliances, are still in the home. The timing of the final walk-through will vary, depending on practices in your market.
PREPARE TO PAY CLOSING COSTS
When you applied for your mortgage, you received a good-faith estimate of closing costs. As closing approaches, you’ll need to determine exactly how much money you will be expected to bring to closing and what forms of payment are acceptable.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS CLOSING?
Closing (also called settlement) is the legal transfer of property ownership. Usually, but not always, possession is transferred at closing. Sometimes the seller may ask to close the sale but retain possession, and pay rent to the buyer until vacating the property at a later date.
WHO ATTENDS CLOSINGS?
Face-to-face closings are common in Pennsylvania. The participants usually include:
- You, the buyer.
- The seller.
- The real estate agents representing the buyer and seller.
- Attorneys for the buyer and seller are optional in Pennsylvania.
- The closing agent, the title insurance representative, and the escrow agent. Often one person fulfills all three roles, coordinating and recording the exchange of the documents and money, disbursing funds, and handling various closing details.
WHERE IS CLOSING HELD?
Closings are usually held at the Buyers broker office by the Buyers title company. TheTitle company job is to confirm the current legal owner of the property, reveal any mortgages, liens, judgments or unpaid taxes on the property, and identify any restrictions that may affect the sale of the property. Any problems need to be corrected before a buyer can receive "good title."
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
The Honeywill Team will advise you on what you’ll need to bring to closing, but typically buyers must provide:
- Certified funds for Payment of closing and mortgage costs.
- Photo Identification
WHAT HAPPENS AT CLOSING?
You’ll sign many documents. Rely on your buyer’s rep and your attorney to review these documents and answer any questions you may have. Frequently-used documents include:
- Closing statement (HUD-1) — details all funds changing hands between the buyer and seller
- Truth in Lending statement — a final summary of the terms of your loan
- Mortgage note — a legal obligation to repay the lender according to stated terms
- Deed of trust — the legal transfer of ownership; gives the lender a claim against your home if you fail to meet the terms of the mortgage note
- Affidavits — any binding statements by the buyer or seller
- Riders — any contract amendments that impact your rights
- Any additional documents required by your Lender.
Once all documents are signed and all monies have been paid, possession is transferred and you receive the keys to your new home. Be sure to keep your closing documents in a safe place for future reference. Some of the expenses associated with your home purchase are tax-deductible.