What is closing on a house?

Closing day is a meeting that finalizes a real estate transaction. It officially transfers ownership of the home over to the buyer, and the seller receives payment for the sale. But before this can occur the buyer and seller need to go through the closing process, which is also referred to as completion or settlement. Closing day is scheduled for several weeks after an offer is accepted. In the intervening time, any remaining details or negotiations are resolved.

This final meeting usually takes place at the office of a title agent or attorney, or at an escrow company. It depends on the state, but sometimes a seller doesn’t need to attend closing day. If it’s not mandatory, the seller can sign the deed and transfer documents in advance. There’s always more paperwork for a buyer to review and sign.

What Should Sellers Bring?

Unless a seller has arranged to vacate the property at some future date, closing day is the time to hand over things like gate keys, garage door openers, and security codes. This also includes any documents regarding the completion of repairs that were requested by the buyer, as well as a government-issued photo ID.

Who Pays Closing Costs?

Closing costs are a percentage of the sale price, and split between the buyer and seller, although not necessarily down the middle. Fees average around 2-5% of the purchase price, and include things like the title transfer, and agent commissions. Closing costs can be negotiated between the buyer and seller, but there’s a general way fees are typically divided. The seller’s portion of closing costs may be deducted from the proceeds of the sale.

We hope this brief overview of closing day is helpful. For more information on home buying and our escrow services, contact us at Bay Area Escrow.