What to Expect at your NC Real Estate Closing
Closing day can be exciting - whether you're buying or selling. Here are some of the common questions I get from my Charlotte and The Lake clients as we get close to closing.
Do I have to come to Closing?
Most of the time all of the buyers and all of the sellers will attend closing.
Arrangements can be made for remote closings but these do require a little extra time to organize so make sure that your Attorney is informed as soon as possible of this requirement.
Alternatively you might chose to use a Power of Attorney - but again, make sure that you make arrangements for this as soon as possible so that the correct paperwork is in place.
Who else will be at Closing?
In North Carolina the Closing transaction must be completed by an Attorney. The Attorney is responsible for collecting together all the information required to complete the sale and will also disburse the funds to the various parties.
In many cases both parties will use the buyer's chosen Attorney but the seller may chose to use their own Attorney to represent them in the transaction.
At a typical closing in addition to the closing attorney you will see the buyers, the sellers, the buyers' and sellers' Real Estate Agents at the closing table.
Real Estate Agents do not have to attend but usually do so to offer advice and ensure that the transaction runs smoothly.
You may also see other professionals represented - a representative of the lender for example may attend.
There is no requirement for the buyers and sellers to be in the same room at the same time to close and some closings are conducted remotely, at different times or in different offices.
What should I bring to Closing?
Prior to closing you will see the Closing Statement which is prepared by your lender in association with the attorney. You should review this carefully and ask your agent's help to make sure that all the details are correct. The colosing statement will tell you how much money you will need to "bring" to closing. Buyers usually have to bring some funds and sometimes Sellers must also.
Most attorneys will require that funds be wired and you are wise to be very cautious that the wiring instructions you receive are correct. At Charlotte and The Lake we recommend that our clients double check by calling the attorney on a confirmed phone number to ensure that the instructions they have received are not fraudulent. A personal check or envelope full of cash will not be acceptable for closing!
The Attorney will also need to see a photo ID so make sure you bring your driver's license.
If you have had a recent name change which may affect the paperwork at closing make sure the Attorney knows ahead of time so that the correct names appear on the paperwork.
What is the Closing Statement?
The Closing Statement provides all the financial information pertaining to the transaction. Amongst other things this will include the amount which the buyer is borrowing, the amount the seller has to pay back to their lender, the HOA dues, the amount the buyer is required to put in Escrow with their lender, commissions and any fees which the Attorney may charge for their services.
Your Real Estate Agent should be able to explain every line item in the statement. Take the time to go through it with them and be prepared for the form to be a little confusing. Real Estate Agents take considerable time learning how these forms work as part of their licensing requirements and therefore they should not expect you to understand them at first glance.
How long will closing take?
Closings generally take about 30-45 minutes. This enables t he Attorney will give a brief explanation of each piece of paperwork which needs to be signedIt isn't too late to ask questions even at this stage and it is important to make sure that you understand what you are signing and the various financial aspects of the transaction. Cash closings are generally quicker as the loan forms are a large part of the paperwork.
What can go wrong at closing?
In the vast majority of cases closing runs smoothly. All parties to the transaction have provided all the pertinent information ahead of time and any questions about the parties or the property have been answered before you get this far.
In some cases, however, a deal can fail even at this late stage. Disputes around repairs may come up or some detail about the physical property may be disclosed which should have been disclosed earlier. It is good practice for buyers to make a final visit to their new property immediately prior to closing to ensure that there are no new problems, repairs have been properly completed and the seller has left the house in good order.
Careful planning and research ahead of time is always wise but it is also good to be aware that nothing is FINAL until the closing is complete, all funds received and the deed recorded.
What happens after closing?
Even after the paperwork is signed the sale is not officially final. The Attorney will still need to confirm that all funds have cleared - from the lender and any other parties - and arrange for the deed to be recorded. Commonly you should not expect to receive the keys to your new home until this is complete. The amount of time needed for recording will depend on the area and your Attorney but if receiving the keys quickly is important to you then you should inquire about this ahead of time.
After closing the Attorney will disperse the various funds and sellers should make arrangements with the Attorney to receive their dispursment either by check or by wire to their bank.
All closings and all Real Estate transactions are different so make sure that you get up to date and reliable information from a Realtor as you work through your sale or purchase. At Charlotte and The Lake agents take the time to support our clients through the closing process and beyond. Let us know what we can do to help!
PO Box 481487, Charlotte NC 28269
More Helpful Hints