Many buyers assume that they’ll go to their closing appointment, sign some papers, and be handed their keys. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and it leads to a lot of unnecessary stress.

BUYERS – What to expect from closing

Ideally, you’ll do a final walk-through right before closing. Some people prefer to do it the day before. There’s a valid argument either way. You’ll wire the amount due for closing ahead of time (this number will be provided by your loan officer and/or the title company), and you’ll arrive at your closing appointment with valid forms of identification (NON-EXPIRED drivers licenses) and spend about 45 minutes signing a large stack of paperwork. It feels very redundant because a lot of it is. You will not get your keys at this time. Keys are released when the transaction “funds”, meaning both seller and buyer have signed, a lender has approved all paperwork, and the wire for your mortgage amount has been released to the title company. If you have a good, local lender (and there are no delays), you can expect this to take a few hours. If you’re using a large institutional lender, or a signature gets skipped somewhere, or the seller signs at 5 pm, this might not occur until the next BUSINESS day. Friday closings aren’t always a great idea. Because of this unknown, the wise homebuyer never, ever plans their move, or contractors, or anything else that requires access to their new home on the day of closing. The REALLY wise homebuyer doesn’t plan on receiving keys until the following afternoon… just in case. Most likely, you’ll get them the afternoon of closing and you’ll be thrilled!

SELLERS – What to expect from closing

The people who are buying your property will most likely want to do a final walk-through. The contract provides them this right. You’ll need to vacate the property prior to your closing appointment. For instance, if I was closing on my home on Tuesday, I would make sure I was all moved out on Monday, and I would go back Tuesday morning to sweep, vacuum, wipe down counters, etc, and then I would head to closing. You’ll want to either bring ALL of your keys/remotes with you to closing or leave them behind in the house. This includes garage door openers, gate remotes, mailbox keys, etc. Once the transaction has funded (see above), the title company will wire your proceeds to you. If funding occurs after 4 pm, you won’t receive your proceeds until the next business day. Keys will not be released to the buyer until funding occurs, but keys may be released prior to your receiving your proceeds (due to wire cutoff restrictions).

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