What to Expect at a Real Estate Closing

Picture of one person handing a set of house keys to another person with a pen, papers, and a clipboard in the background.If you’re planning to purchase your first home, you’re probably unsure what the process involves, including what to expect on closing day. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! Below, we explain what a real estate closing is and what happens on closing day. We also discuss how long closings typically take and what you should plan on bringing to your closing.

What Is a Real Estate Closing?

During a real estate closing, title transfers from the seller to the buyer. When that happens, the buyer officially becomes the new owner of the property.

What Happens During a Real Estate Closing?

On closing day, the buyer and the seller (or their representatives) will meet at an office. (In some instances, the parties will sign the documents ahead of time, eliminating the need to meet in person.) A closing agent will walk the parties through the closing process, which includes:

  • Signing paperwork
  • Transferring funds out of escrow
  • Paying any applicable mortgage and title fees

Once all of the necessary steps have been completed, the buyer will receive the keys and have full access to the property.

How Long Does a Real Estate Closing Take?

There’s no simple answer to this question, since the length of a real estate closing will vary from one transaction to another. With that said, closings involving financing often take about one to two hours, while closings where the buyer is paying cash can usually be completed in just a half hour.

What to Bring to Your Real Estate Closing

Your realtor will likely tell you what you need to bring to your real estate closing, so be sure to carefully follow those directions. With that said, buyers often have to bring the following items to their closing:

  • A government-issued photo ID
  • The remaining amount due (this is also known as “cash to close”—you’ll likely need to pay this by cashier’s check or wire transfer)
  • Proof of homeowners insurance
  • Your closing disclosure

How to Streamline Your Real Estate Closing

Buying a home can be stressful in and of itself, so you probably want to do whatever you can to simplify the process and ensure closing day goes as smoothly as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to hire a real estate attorney rather than a title company.

In Florida, attorneys can offer all the same services as a title company—holding escrow, issuing title insurance, and drafting mortgages, deeds, and releases—and they’re also able to provide additional services, such as offering legal advice, representing clients in negotiations, and preparing supplemental legal documents. What’s more, title insurance rates are set by statute in Florida, and attorneys tend to charge approximately the same amount as title companies for closing and settlement fees.

If you’ll be closing on a home in the Tampa Bay area, you can rely on The Lyons Law Group, P.A., to guide you through the process. Founded in 2008, we have offices in New Port Richey and Spring Hill, and we proudly represent residents of Pasco County, Hernando County, and the surrounding area. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

August 11, 2023

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