There are two main tasks that you will need to do complete at the closing stage of a real estate transaction: sign all relevant legal documents and pay all closing costs and escrow items.
What Types of Legal Documents Will I Be Signing?
If you have obtained a mortgage loan to help you pay for the property, you should expect to sign a contract between you and the lender providing your mortgage. You should also expect to sign a contract between you and the seller or buyer. This contract will explain the terms of transfer of ownership of the property.
Are Those the Only Documents I Will Be Signing?
In addition to the aforementioned contracts, there are several other documents you can expect to both review carefully and sign. These include:
- Certificate of Occupancy - Required to move in to a newly built house
- Mortgage Note - Promise of mortgage repayment containing the amount and terms of the loan and default consequences
- HUD-1 Settlement Statement - Review this at least a day before closing just in case there are any discrepancies regarding closing costs
- Final TILA Statement - This is a statement of the final cost of your loan explaining all changes to your rate and points since the initial application
- Mortgage or Deed of Trust - Secures the mortgage note by acting as a form of collateral for the lender in case of default
Can I Have an Attorney Present at the Closing?
An attorney can be present, and it is highly recommended that you do have your attorney with you in case you have any last-minute questions or issues. Of course, the selling agent may be an attorney himself and will be present along with the seller, the seller's attorney (if he chooses to have one present), the title company representative, the seller's real estate agent, and your lender.
Should I Consult a Lawyer about My Closing Issues?
Buying and financing a piece of real estate can be one of the most financially burdensome experiences of your life. A real estate attorney can advise you of the different mortgage financing options for this financial endeavor. An attorney can also review any financial documents, and advise you concerning your obligations and the best way to proceed.