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So what exactly is meant by “closing?” It can also be called “settlement” but rarely is. It’s the legal transfer of property ownership where documents are signed and formalized and then recorded and monies are exchanged. Sometimes the seller may ask to close the sale but retain possession, and pay rent to the buyer until vacating the property at a later date. This doesn’t happen often, but can be convenient when one is trying to purchase another home at the same time as selling their current home.

Usually the Realtor and the buyers and sellers attend the closings. Sometimes the lender will attend, but not really needed. Sometimes the buyers and sellers will close at the same time in the same room and sometimes at different times or in different rooms. Your attorney can be present, but usually is not. In some states the closing takes place at an attorney’s office, but in Texas it’s usually at a title company. In Texas, at the title company, we have closing agents or escrow agents who facilitate the closing or settlement.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING? This is the question most buyers and sellers ask before the closing.
You will need to bring
• Your driver’s license
• Your check if funds are needed

At the closing you will sign many documents. The buyers usually sign many more than the sellers because they are the ones that have lender documents to sign.

The most common document is the Closing statement (HUD-1). This details all the funds changing hands between the buyer and seller and Realtor.

Another document you will see is the Truth in Lending statement. This is a final summary of the terms of your loan.

You will have a Mortgage note to sign if you are getting a mortgage. This is a legal obligation to repay the lender according to the stated terms.

The Deed of trust is the legal transfer of ownership; it gives the lender a claim against your home if you fail to meet the terms of the mortgage note.

Sometimes Affidavits will be needed. These are any binding statements by the buyer or seller. If someone has married and changed names, but not changed their name legally, they will most likely sign an affidavit that they are known by both names as the same person.

After the documents are signed and all monies have been paid, possession is transferred and the buyers receive the keys to their new home. Be sure to keep your closing documents in a safe place for future reference.

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