Updated: May 12, 2021
You MUST be in the process of buying or selling a house! (For this post's purposes, I'll be referring to a residential closing as opposed to a commercial closing.) First, let me define "closing". The term refers to the time when ownership transfers from the seller to the buyer, and the property is officially recorded at the courthouse in the new owner's name. Think: "final". Think "Closing the deal".
The length of a closing can vary, although they rarely take longer than an hour and a half. Most of the time they are much shorter than that. Closing day is about more than signing papers, though....check out the video :)
The sellers should be totally moved out by closing day. This is usually the day the buyers will do a Final Walk Through of the home. They will be checking to make sure everything is in as good or better condition than when they made the offer. They'll also check to see that any agreed upon repairs have been completed to their satisfaction.
If everything checks out, they will proceed with the closing. The attorney's office will have scheduled a specific day and time for you to go to their office (unless they are set up to do remote closings) to go over the documents and sign all the necessary papers. (The "papers" will come from the lender, the attorney, or both.)
You'll need to take a photo ID with you, and if you are the buyer, you'll need to bring a check or have scheduled the funds to be wired to complete the purchase. Your attorney will let you know how much money to bring on closing day.
When do you get to move in? Not as soon as you might think! The attorney has to physically go to the courthouse to record the sale, and they generally do that a couple of times a day. Chances are, you'll have to wait a few hours before you can get the key and actually start moving into your new home. If you're a seller, the same waiting game applies. Only in your case, you're waiting for your check! Either way, the attorney will call your Realtor once the deed has been recorded, and your Realtor will call you to let you know it's official and finalized. THEN you can get the keys or the check/wire. 😊
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