Real Estate Closings and You
After all that time waiting, you get the call…it’s closing time! Closing is the time to sign all of those final documents and move all the money around to the appropriate parties. Closing seems as if it’s a million miles away from the day you made/accepted the offer on your house, but once it arrives, the excitement once again builds. Sitting at the closing table, pen in hand, you start signing off on all that paperwork – you’re almost across the finish line. Here are a few things about closing a real estate transaction in Texas that we wanted to share with you that you may or may not know.
- The date in the contract is an “on or before” date. This means that if all parties agree to close a day early, they can. A week early? Still a yes. A whole month? Absolutely!
- Closings most commonly occur at a title company.
- Buyer and seller do not close at the same time. There is no requirement that one party close before another.
- Photo ID is required. Signatures will be notarized and the escrow agent will want to make sure you are who you say you are.
- Power of Attorney can be used, but generally the original POA document is required. A call will be made to the person granting the POA just to make sure they are 1) alive and 2) not revoking the POA.
- Monies for closing are required to be in certified funds – cashier’s checks or wires. Don’t bring a suitcase full of cash (although it might be impressive) or a personal checkbook.
- Don’t expect the keys right away. Unless otherwise specified in a temporary lease agreement, possession transfers at closing and funding. This means that the closing office has to make sure that all funds for the deal have been received. If the buyer is securing a mortgage, it could take a few hours…and sometimes a few days.
- Taxes will be pro-rated based on the previous year’s assessed value. This can change each year, most noticeably with new construction (where the previous year’s tax value is based on just the land, not land and a house).
- Average closing time for a seller is thirty minutes or less. There’s a lot less paperwork involved in selling than in buying.
- Average closing time for a buyer is about an hour. The biggest factors in this much lengthier process are the complexity of the transaction, the experience of buyer, what documents the lender requires (some require more than others), and knowing what to expect, what to bring, and what information the buyers will be signing.
image courtesy of gill.holgate