What Happens At The Closing Of A Sale?
I spoke with a client the other day and they were planning to take off work on the day the property was due to close. That would be something that needs to happen on the East Coast when buying a property. An appointment with a closing attorney would be scheduled and everyone involved in the transaction, both buyer and seller and their agents would attend. If you are lucky the process would only take two hours.
Here in California we use an escrow rather than a closing attorney. Escrow is opened when the contract is accepted. The escrow officer acts as a disinterested third party obeying the instructions given to them when both the buyer and seller agree. They handle the details of the contract as their instructions for the transaction. If the contract included a disclosure such as the Statewide Buyer and Seller’s Disclosure then they would need a copy of that form prior to closing. They coordinate with the lenders to pay off existing liens on the property and with the new lender for the buyer. The new lender emails their loan documents to escrow, the documents are readied for buyer’s signature and estimated closing statement is explained along with letting the buyer know how much money to bring in prior to the close. This is the longest process prior to closing that the buyer will be involved in. The process can take as little as 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the buyer’s level of comfort with such documents. Any questions are answered there and then by the appropriate parties so the buyer feels comfortable with what is being signed.
After the documents are delivered to the lender, they are reviewed again, funds are wired to escrow and escrow sets the property up for recording the next day. The only thing the buyer need do is be ready to get the key on closing day and set up for their move.
This is a very simplified explanation of a complex process. The whole idea is to make this process look seamless so the buyer has peace of mind when moving into their new home.