The Real Estate Closing Process

Closing on a home can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! At Atlantic Coast Title & Escrow, we help clients demystify the closing process and ensure that the home transaction goes through without dispute, delay, or unexpected costs.

In this blog post, we want to share a high-level overview of the closing process so that you know what to expect when going through the process for the first time.

Step 1: Real Estate Contract

The first step in every real estate transaction is entering into a real estate contract. Real estate agreements will provide clear terms and conditions that will govern the real estate transaction. For example, the contract will provide information about what the buyer and the seller must do in order for the transaction to be completed. For example, the contract may provide an opportunity for the buyer to inspect the property.

Step 2: Escrow

Once an agreement has been reached by the buyer and the seller, the buyer must deposit money into an escrow account. The buyer will use an escrow agent like Atlantic Coast Title & Escrow to ensure that funds are securely deposited.

Step 3: Mortgage

Many buyers require a home loan to finance the purchase of a home. This process requires including proof of income, filling out a mortgage application, and complying with title insurance requirements.

Step 4: Home Appraisal & Inspection

Many lenders require an appraisal of the home’s value, which is typically conducted by a licensed property appraiser. In addition to an appraisal, the buyer will have an opportunity to inspect the property to ensure that it is in a condition to be sold. For example, the buyer’s inspector may look for issues with the roofing, electrical wiring, and plumbing to confirm they are in working order.

Step 5: Title Examination

Before a closing can occur, a title examination must be performed. At Atlantic Coast Title & Escrow, we conduct a title examination for our clients whereby we evaluate any factors that limit the seller’s ability to transfer ownership of the home to the buyer. These limiting factors could include, for example, any restrictions, easements, and encroachments. We also look at any mortgages on the property and determine if any mortgage must be satisfied before the closing can take place.

Step 6: Title Insurance

After a title examination has been completed, a title insurance policy may be issued. Before a policy can be issued, several conditions must be met. At Atlantic Coast Title & Escrow, we will provide a title commitment through our underwriter about the status of the title. If accepted, we will issue a title commitment, which contains the terms, conditions, and exclusions that will be included in your insurance policy. This commitment operates as a task list of things that will need to be satisfied in order to insure a clear title to the property.

Step 7: Closing Documents

In every real estate transaction, there are a lot of moving parts. Loan documents, the bills of sale, a warranty deed and a number of other documents must be reviewed and executed prior to closing. As Jacksonville Beach closing attorneys, it is our job to coordinate all of these moving pieces to ensure that the transaction is closed as efficiently as possible. We coordinate important dates and document signatures, and confirm available funds needed for closing.

Step 8: Record and Disburse Funds

Once closing has occurred, there is still a little more work to do! Our job is now to record and disburse funds, finalize all necessary documents, prepare the final title policy and handle any additional post-closing matters.

Hiring A Real Estate Closing Attorney

At Atlantic Coast Title & Escrow, we help both buyers and sellers simplify the home buying process. We work closely with our clients to demystify the process, answer any questions they may have, and ensure that their real estate transaction proceeds as smoothly as possible.

If you are purchasing or selling a home and have questions about the closing process, contact our office today to speak with one of our Jacksonville, FL real estate closing attorneys.

Interested to learn more about closing costs? Visit our Buyers & Sellers page to use our Closing Costs Calculator!

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