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A closing is defined as "a meeting of all parties involved in a property transaction during which pertinent documents are signed and transferred, and funds are distributed." Typically, it is handled by a closing agent, either a title insurance company or an attorney, and will last approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
The closing agent will begin preparation for your closing shortly after you sign your contract. A request for payoff information is sent for existing mortgages, as well as a request for any information regarding homeowners or condominium association dues and/or transfer fees. If a new mortgage is being obtained, the closing agent will work closely with the new lender to make sure that all of the lender's closing requirements are met.
A title exam is ordered to verify the seller's right to transfer ownership, and to discover any outstanding mortgages, liens, restrictions, easements, etc., which may affect the property. A title commitment will then be issued to show any matters reflected in the title exam, as well as a determination of the documents needed to properly transfer the title of the property to the buyer. The closing agent will also work closely with the lender and Realtors to coordinate the ordering of the termite inspection, survey, homeowner's insurance and flood insurance, if applicable.
When the lender has received all required documents from the buyer and the loan has been approved, the closing agent will schedule the date and time for the closing with all parties. The lender will prepare a closing package consisting of the loan closing instructions, fees charged in connection with the new loan, and any loan documents to be delivered to the closing agent. The closing agent will then prepare all of the necessary closing documents, including a closing statement outlining all costs associated with the transfer of ownership as well as fees charged in connection with the new loan.
Copies of the closing statement are usually faxed to the lender and Realtors, if any. If the closing agent has been provided a fax number for buyer and/or seller, they may also receive a copy. The buyer must bring a cashier's check to closing made payable to Sunbelt Title Agency. The seller will also be advised of the proceeds of the sale of the property.
The closing typically takes place in the closing agent's office. The closing agent, buyer, seller and any Realtors sit around a table together while the closing agent explains the closing statement as well as other closing documents. When all of the documents have been signed, including the deed, and the buyer has given the cashier's check to the closing agent, the seller receives his or her proceeds from the sale.
After the closing, the closing agent sends the original deed and mortgage to the courthouse for recording. The completed loan package is sent to the lender. All remaining funds are disbursed according to the settlement statement, including mortgage payoffs. The owner's and lender's title policies are issued when the deed and mortgage are returned to the closing agent after recording.
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