What Happens at a Real Estate Closing?
For residential real estate closings in Chicago-land
The “Closing” is the consummation of the legal transaction of the real estate purchase. At closing, the buyer pays the purchase price of the house to the Seller (Title company cuts the check). The buyer’s monies are usually supplemented by a mortgage. The Seller, in turn, provides the buyer with clear title and conveys ownership to the buyer. Seller will give buyer keys at closing if buyer is taking possession on that date.
The closing typically takes place at a title company.
The closing date is already decided during contract negotiations at the time the buyer makes an offer to purchase, and is written in the contract. It’s “set in stone,” so to speak, unless the parties agree in writing afterwards to another date.
The buyers, sellers, their respective attorneys and the title company representative called, “The Closer,” are the key players at Closing. The lender typically coordinates remotely in lieu of attending closing, and communicates with “The Closer,” who acts as the agent for the lender. The real estate agents often attend for moral support of their clients.
The Title company provides a one-time insurance policy for the buyer which protects buyer from any liens or defects on title prior to the time the buyer owned the property. They also facilitate the closing providing a conference room, office equipment and will collect and disburse monies from the parties and their financial institutions at the closing.
The Closer (Title Company Representative):
The Closer is the Coordinator of the Closing. They produce the final paperwork reflecting all the credits and charges for both buyers and sellers. The title company facilitates cutting the checks for all expenses owed by buyers and sellers at the closing. The closer acts as an agent for the lender and fulfills a checklist of what the buyer’s lender requires in order to fund the loan at closing.
The Seller’s attorney has prepared the Deed to convey the property ownership to the buyer, along with many other legal documents. The Seller’s attorney usually takes steps to cure defects on title such as ensuring that Seller’s property taxes and mortgage are paid in full at closing. The Seller’s attorney typically orders, reviews & provides a plat of survey for the buyer.
The seller’s attorney will handle any negotiations of final walk through issues and draft/review any post-closing agreements, if applicable.
The buyer’s attorney will review the following at closing:
Buyer’s numerous loan documents
Title company forms
Municipal, State and County Transfer tax forms/requirements
Seller’s Attorney’s legal documents, including the Deed
Plat of Survey
The buyer’s attorney will handle any negotiations of final walk through issues and draft any post-closing agreements, if applicable.
The Buyer’s lender will require the buyer to sign the often lengthy loan package at closing. They typically wire the loaned monies to the title company at closing to fund the loan.
Must sign all loan documents, produce identification, and bring good funds to closing.
Must sign all legal documents prepared by Seller’s attorney. This can be done in advance and in lieu of attending closing.
Real Estate Agents:
Real Estate Agents have accomplished their job prior to closing. Their primary role is to help sellers and buyers find each other - to get a home sold. At closing, that’s already happened, so the agent has no further tasks to fulfill.
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