First-Time Buyer? What to Expect at Your Land Title Closing
Closing on a house marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter, but the final step before becoming a homeowner includes the final transfer of money and title. Take a minute to appreciate how far you have come, and how close you are to wrapping up this life-changing purchase. Here’s what to expect before, during and after your closing with Land Title.
Before the closing:
- Do your final walkthrough. Most real estate contracts stipulate that the buyer has the right to perform a final walkthrough, also known as a pre-closing inspection, within 24 hours before closing. The home should be in a clean condition and without any surprises.
- Bring your IDs. This includes either a valid driver’s license, a state-issued picture ID, or a valid passport. Lenders typically require buyers to have a second form of ID as well, such as a membership card or your Social Security card. Also, alert your closer prior to the closing if there has been a change in your name, marital status, or in the event of a deceased party.
- Welcome! You will be greeted and welcomed by a Land Title team member. You’ll be taken to one of our spacious closing rooms. Depending on the office, you’ll be offered water and/or a snack.
- The closing staff will make copies of both the Buyer’s and the Seller’s required identification so they can notarize all signatures.
During the closing:
- Your closing attendees may include the seller, both real estate professionals, and a Land Title closer. Sometimes the lender will send a representative as well.
- Your closer will provide you with pens and will walk through the documents with you one-by-one. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions throughout the closing.
- First, the closer reviews the real estate and loan documents with you and you will sign the appropriate documents. This process usually takes about 40 minutes.
- Any funding conditions are sent to the lender and the closing may pause for a moment while we wait for approval/authorization number (this may add additional time).
- Real estate, settlement, and disclosure documents are reviewed for accuracy and signed. These documents will include the Conveyance Deed which officially transfers title from the seller to the buyer (real estate side of the transaction).
- The buyer and lender provide good funds to the title company. Good funds can be a wire or cashier’s check made payable to Land Title Guarantee Company.
- The closer distributes funds to the appropriate parties per the closing instructions from all parties.
- The closer offers two choices to all parties for how they would like to receive copies of their signed closing documents:
- paperless documents via email
- paper copies of all documents before leaving the closing
- The house keys are transferred. Note that other items pertaining to the house are typically left in the house for the future buyer.
After the closing:
- After the closing, the closing agent will record the Warranty Deed, the Deed of Trust and any other pertinent documents with the county Clerk and Recorder’s office.
- The title policy is generally issued within 30 days of the closing. This is an important document and you will want to file it away safely with other legal documents.
Helpful planning tips:
- If you are renting, schedule your closing around the time your lease is up.
- If you are moving out of a house that you’re selling, try to schedule both closings for the same day and allow enough time to complete both.
- If you are moving the day that you’re closing, schedule the closing as early in the day as possible.
- If your closing is before the end of the year, keep the tax consequences of your transaction in mind. Check with your tax adviser for timing of any other deductions.