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Everyone has real estate questions — these days more than ever. And who better to help than luxury real estate agent Christy Berry of Compass? Berry is one of most respected, trusted and experienced agents in Texas.
Now, she’ll tackle a new real estate issue every month in a new series Call on Christy. This month, Christy Berry is helping all of us understand everything you need to know about that sometimes intimidating “closing day” and explaining exactly what that means.
What to Expect on Closing Day in Texas
You have searched with your real estate agent and found the perfect home. You have connected with your lender and turned in the numerous documents that they require. Now it is closing day, but what does that mean exactly?
Closing day is the culmination of your agent and lender’s efforts as they have been working behind the scenes to make the home that you selected officially yours. Here are some of the most common questions Berry gets from clients that pertain to closing day.
Q: How much money do I need to bring to closing?
Up to a couple of business days before closing, the title company will send you a notice of the amount that will need to be wired from your account to complete the transaction. The amount is determined by the lender’s final closing disclosure and cashier’s checks are the only acceptable funds.
Q: When do I go to the title company?
Your agent will typically schedule a time for you to go to the title company to sign the required papers. Texas is called an escrow state, so you will not be closing at the same time as the other party involved in the transaction. If you are the buyer and have a mortgage, the appointment will probably take about 30 to 45 minutes.
If you are the seller, it will only take about 15 minutes as the lender is the one who bears the burden of signing all of the additional documentation
Q: What do I need to bring?
All you need to bring is a government issued form of identification such as a driver’s license or a passport. If you are the seller, you will bring your house keys and garage remotes. The title company will have confirmed your home insurance policy by this point on closing day so there is no reason to bring any of that documentation.
Q: What if I am not moving immediately after closing? Does that change the process at all?
There are a lot of situations that would result in your not immediately moving in on closing day. For example, if you are giving the sellers a temporary leaseback. This, of course, was negotiated with the contract you will sign and you will still receive a key to your new home after funding, but you cannot move in until the end of the lease back period stipulated in the aforementioned addendum.
The sellers will continue to pay the utilities and all maintenance until the end of the leaseback at which point you will put the utilities in your name on that specific day. Typically, this period lasts a week or two as a lot of sellers do not want to move out until they know they are closed.
Q: When is the house officially yours?
After the buyer and seller have both signed, you will have to initiate your portion of the cash needed. The lender will also initiate their wire transfer. Once the loan or cash has been received by the buyer and sent to the seller, the home is what the Escrow agent calls ‘Funded’. This usually takes a couple of hours after the buyer and seller have signed so closing late in the day could delay the process until the next morning.
At this point, the home is yours and the keys are released to you by the title company or your agent. Congrats!
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