Photo Credit: Geoff Scott

Closing is upon us
! Having you been doing your finger
calisthenics? You will want your signing hand in good shape. Until today you have probably had little interaction with the Title Company. Today the Title Company Closer is the Quarterback. It is is/Her job to prepare all the documents per your lender’s instructions, present them to you and the seller, and collect all signatures, send the documents back to your lender for final approval, and collect and disburse all funds when the closing is complete. And give you the keys to your new home! Here’s what you can expect to happen at closing:
The First Half of closing is related to the financials:
  • The Closing Disclosure (CD): The title company will review the Closing Disclosure with you. You will probably have seen this document already so there should be no surprises. The CD outlines all the charges and credits resulting from the sale of the home, and applies them appropriately to the seller and the buyer. There will be multiple copies of this document that you will sign.
  • The Note: accompanies all mortgages in Florida. The note, also called a promissory note, is your legal promise to repay and makes you personally liable for the debt. It defines the amount of the debt, the interest rate, payment method and term of your indebtedness.
  • The Mortgage: is the instrument that establishes the home as collateral for the debt defined in the Note. The mortgage is a lien placed by your lender against the home that you freely give in exchange for the loan. In other words—your lender gives you a loan to purchase the home. You acknowledge this with a formal, legal promise to repay your lender. Your lender places a lien against your home, thereby securing the home as collateral for the loan.
  • Other Supporting Second String Documents: Your Loan Application: you will be given a nice, clean copy of your original loan application to sign for your lender’s records, All the final mortgage disclosures, as well.

Photo Credit: Mariusz Prusaczyk

Half time !
After the documents required by your lender are signed you’re at half time. Typically, the closer will take these documents and scan them to your lender so that your lender’s QA department can get started checking and approving them.

Second Half: While the lender’s QA team is reviewing the documents, your closer will come back with yet more paperwork for you to sign. These documents may include:
  • The Deed- this document transfers the home from the seller to the buyer. This document, once signed, is recorded in public records at the county and establishes you as the rightful owner of the home.
  • The Title Commitment- The title company’s role is to insure that you have good title to the property. They’ve researched the public records and examined the documents affecting the property (“chain of title”) to make certain there aren’t liens or judgments that might adversely affect the title to the property. As part of the closing, the title company collects funds to take care of such matters- paying off the seller’s mortgage or bringing homeowner’s association fees current, for example. The Title Commitment issued by the title company insures that you have clear title effective at closing. The final policy will be prepared and mailed to you with the original deed of conveyance. Keep those documents, and in the unlikely event someone asserts a claim against the property, the title insurance underwriter will defend the claim or reimburse you up to your purchase price of the property.
  • The Survey- A survey shows the property boundary and the improvements, so you can see where the fences are located in relation to the property boundary and the footprint of the house, pool, sheds, docks and other outbuildings and improvements. Rarely are fences located directly on the property line. you may discover that you own more than thought or that the fence veers off into the neighbor’s property. It’s typical to see an easement in the front of the property to allow for utilities, conservation areas, easements to allow for the community’s fence, or to allow for drainage along the front, side and rear property lines. Although its easy to think of the survey as just another cost, the drawing is an important document that should be reviewed carefully!
If all goes per plan, your lender will have approved your closing documents while you are finishing the second half paperwork. Sometimes there is a lag between the time that you are finished signing and your lender’s final authorization to fund your loan. If that is the case we may choose to sit and wait while twiddling our thumbs, grab coffee or lunch and wait to hear that your loan is funded. You see, you can’t be given the keys to your new home until your lender gives the title company the final go ahead.

Photo Credit Daryn Bartlett

And sometimes we go into OVERTIME- when there is a delay in getting the authorization to fund the loan from your lender we will go into overtime. If this happens you may spend an extra night in a hotel until the funding is authorized the next day. We try really hard to keep this from happening by scheduling closings no later than early afternoon. When we are forced into late in the day closings, or closings on the last day of the month, this risk goes up. Believe me, we’ll do everything we can possibly do to make sure that your closing is smooth and that you’re drinking champagne that afternoon. Because, you’ve just bought a house! .