The closing is the final step in purchasing your new home, but you may find yourself wondering what you should expect from this part of the process if you’re a first-time buyer. Luckily, one of the benefits of using a real estate attorney is that your attorney can prepare you to head into your closing with confidence.
Understanding the Closing Process
When you choose to work with a real estate attorney, your attorney will attend the closing with you to ensure the transfer is legal, binding, and in your best interests. Most real estate agents will also attend the closing with you.
Closings are normally scheduled during regular business hours, but you may be able to request an evening closing. You are generally allowed to bring your children if needed but may find it easier to concentrate if they are left with a sitter.
Most closings take about an hour and will primarily consist of you signing different versions of paperwork you’ve previously gone over with your lender. The seller will also have paperwork to complete, although they will have fewer total documents to sign.
Some of the documents you may be expected to sign include:
- The promissory note outlining the terms of your loan
- The mortgage document securing the property as collateral for the loan
- The warranty deed transferring ownership from the seller to you
- Affidavits related to your current employment, annual income, name variations or aliases, and other aspects relevant to the transaction
- Disclosures and acknowledgments covering topics such as the potential for foreclosure, whether the property is located in a flood zone, and the projected escrow account activity for one year
- IRS form W-9 verifying your Social Security number for the reporting of payment of interest to the IRS
- IRS forms 4506 and/or 8821 authorizing the lender to obtain information that verifies what you provided on the application form
- First payment letter explaining when your first mortgage payment is due, what the amount will be, and how you should submit payment
You are encouraged to review each document carefully and ask your attorney for clarification if you have questions or concerns. Take your copies of documents from the closing home to store in a safe place.
Payment of Closing Costs
After signing your documents, you’ll be asked to present payment for closing costs—including title insurance premiums and various taxes. Closing costs vary but are normally between two and five percent of the home’s purchase price. If you are worried about the expense of closing costs, they can sometimes be rolled into your mortgage depending on the lender’s policies.
Virginia law requires closing funds to be paid by cashier’s check, certified check, money order, or wire. You are not allowed to write a personal check. You’ll be informed of the total owed the day before or the day of the closing.
Getting the Keys to Your New Home
When the closing is complete, you’ll get the keys to your new home. You are allowed to schedule a move for that day. However, most real estate professionals would advise that you wait a day or two to avoid any unanticipated issues with the closing that would require you to have the movers reschedule.
Once the transaction is recorded with the county, the funds for payment will be dispersed. At this time, the appropriate parties will also update the title and record your deed and the lender’s deed of trust.
Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer? Discover the Alperin Law Advantage
At Alperin Law, our staff is available seven days a week should you have questions related to residential or commercial real estate transactions in Virginia or North Carolina. Contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office directly at 757.490.3500 to learn how we can be of service. We serve all communities in Eastern Virginia, including Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Isle of Wight County, Hampton, the Eastern Shore, and Northeastern North Carolina, including Currituck, Elizabeth City, and the Outer Banks.