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Have you found the perfect house, secured a deal and completed your due diligence? That’s great! You’re almost done with the home-buying journey.

The closing, or settlement, is the final step in the purchasing and financing of a home. If you’re buying the house with a mortgage, the closing of your loan and the closing of your home purchase typically happen at the same time. However, the process can be overwhelming and confusing if you don’t know what to expect. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, here are some key aspects to prepare for:

A Lot of Documents
You’ll receive and have to sign many documents. Some signatures may need to be notarized. At least three business days before closing, you should get your closing disclosure, which lays out the terms of your loan and an itemized list of closing fees. Take this time to review the disclosure, compare it to your previous loan estimate and make sure the loan terms are what you agreed to. Let your lender know if you believe there are mistakes, and ask about anything you don’t understand.

You’ll receive the mortgage, also known as the security instrument or deed of trust. By signing this document, you agree that the lender may foreclose on your home if you fail to repay the mortgage. Other important documents at closing include a promissory note and the deed, which transfers legal ownership of the property to you.

Transfer of Funds
Money may also change hands. The closing or settlement agent is responsible for collecting the money from the parties and paying it back out again according to the terms of the sale and loan. You’ll need to pay for your down payment (less any deposit you’ve already made), as well as closing costs, which typically cost several thousand dollars. Sometimes the seller may pay costs related to closing to the lender; this is determined by the terms of your purchase contract. The lender provides the funds from the mortgage loan. The closing agent then pays out the price of the home to the seller and distributes the closing costs to the various closing service providers.

Taxes and Insurance
You’ll likely need to show proof of homeowners insurance so that the lender will fund the mortgage loan. Many lenders also require borrowers to pay property taxes and insurance using an escrow account. If your loan includes an escrow account, you’ll need to make an initial deposit at closing.

Transfer of Ownership
Once all of the documents have been signed, funds have been disbursed and the closing has been finalized, the transfer of ownership occurs. The seller, or a representative of the seller, gives you the keys to the new home, and the main documents are submitted to the registrar’s office to be officially recorded.

Your real estate agent can help you throughout the closing process. After closing, pop the champagne and celebrate. You’re a new homeowner!

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional or legal advice.

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