Putting your house on the market can be exciting, especially if you have multiple offers come through. Once you accept one, you move into the house closing process. This can take a few weeks as the many moving parts align.
From the financing to the title search, each phase is important for transferring ownership of your property to the buyer. The process kicks off when you and the buyer sign the contract or purchase agreement.
Let’s take a look at the steps involved in moving from agreeing on a price to the title closing date.
The money part comes first, with the buyer opening an escrow account and putting up earnest money. Both are typically held by a title company, which serves as a neutral third party to avoid fraud. The earnest money shows that the seller is serious about wanting to buy your house.
The title company will also start working with you and the buyer to do a title search and issue title insurance. The search ensures that the property you’re selling is free and clear of any impediments that would keep you from legally being able to sell it.
The search involves looking at public records to record the exact piece of land and ensure there are no liens or other holds on the deed. The insurance protects the buyer later if any issues arise that the title company missed during its search.
The last financial piece early on involves the closing costs. The buyer might want to negotiate with you to get you to pay most or all of them.
The next steps in a real estate deal involve removing any contingencies to the deal. These are the things you agree could put a stop to the purchase at any point.
The first is usually the home inspection, where a professional goes over the house to ensure the property doesn’t have any problems. If there are any, the buyer can back out of the deal or ask you to fix it before the sale is finalized. The buyer can also use what is found to renegotiate the offer to get you to pay for repairs.
The buyer also has to get their financing in order at this stage. The entire closing process can go faster if the buyer has been pre-approved for their mortgage or they’re an all-cash buyer. In fact, selling for cash might be the answer if you’ve been searching for the “fastest way to sell my house”.
There will also be a final walk-through of the house before you sign the papers. The buyer gets the opportunity to look everything over one last time to make sure any repairs have been made and everything is as expected.
At last, it’s time for the paperwork. This starts with a closing disclosure from the title company. This lays out all the financials of what’s been agreed to in the deal.
The disclosure shows the math from the price negotiated to the responsibility for various costs of the process. At the bottom will be the final amount you’ll receive from the buyer.
When you go to sign all the paperwork, make sure you have all the documents you need as well as the keys. You should be able to get the paperwork in advance so you can review it at your leisure to ensure you understand what you’re signing.
Complete the House Closing Process
When you put your house on the market, it can take time to get to the point of negotiating a deal. But even when you get there, you still have a few more steps to go before you hand over the keys. A real estate closing involves a lot of research and paperwork to ensure your deal is solid and ownership transfers properly.
If you found this article on the house closing process helpful, check out our other blog posts on buying or selling a home and real estate investments.