The Closing Period

Immediately after the offer is accepted, the buyer's earnest money check is given to the closing agent to be held in escrow.  The closing agent will be the gatekeeper of all the paperwork that is essential for completing the closing which is usually will occur four to six weeks later.  During that time, the closing agent works to prorate the property taxes, have a title report prepared, arrange the title search, prepare instructions for the buyer and the seller for paying final closing costs, schedule the closing meeting, disburse all funds, and have the deed, which is the document that pass title from the seller to the buyer, recorded with the county.  The seller will prepare to move and notify their utility companies of a final service date.

Most buyers make their purchase contingent on a satisfactory home inspection, which usually takes place a few days after the purchase contract is signed.  A home inspector will check for problems with the structural and mechanical systems such as the heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems.  Who pays for specific tests and what happens as the result of inspection reports were agree to as part of the purchase contract so the seller may need to perhaps repair something the home inspector finds beyond what the seller has already disclosed.

When all the terms of your sales contract are met including the removal of the financing and inspection contingencies, and all the loan documents have been prepared, the settlement agent will prepare the HUD-1 settlement statement.  The HUD-1 settlement statement itemizes the money coming in and being paid out on your closing date including bills being paid, agent commissions, mortgage payoffs, and down payments. 

At closing or a day or two prior, the seller and the buyer will sign a stack of closing documents.  Whatever the seller has agreed to pay at closing is deducted from their selling price, so the seller doesn't have to bring any money to the closing ceremony unless their sale's price doesn’t cover the total cost of paying off their loan and costs of the sale.  At the end of the closing ceremony, the seller will receive a check for the proceeds of the sale and the buyer will receive all the keys to the house and security system codes.