Closing Process

The closing is one of the final steps in the process of buying/selling or refinancing a home. It occurs when all parties involved, including the buyer and seller, meet to finalize the transaction and where purchase money and ownership documents, including the conveyance deed, exchange hands. The closing can only take place once all the conditions of the real estate contract and the lender’s requirements have been met.


The location of the closing is typically at the realtor’s office, lender’s office, the buyer or seller’s attorney’s office, or many times at the title company’s (also known as settlement agent) office. The title company will coordinate who should attend the closing and at what time.

Parties in Attendance

meeting-200x300 Depending on your geographical area, all parties may or may not be present at the same time in a closing.

Escrow Closing
In this type of closing, the seller may sign all his/her documents at a different time than the buyer. In an escrow closing, the seller may or may not receive his proceeds check on the same day.

Round Table Closing
A “round table closing” requires that all parties are there at the same time. In this type of closing, the seller will receive his/her proceeds at the closing (which is referred to as table funding). Regardless of the type of closing, the documents signed will all be the same. The documents the seller and buyer can expect to sign at closing are listed at the bottom of the page.

The Process

When you arrive at the closing, you will be greeted by your closing officer or settlement agent. Your closing officer or settlement agent is the one who will collect all the funds involved, including money due from the buyer and the funds from the new lender. You will then be directed to a closing room or office where he/she will explain each document to you, including a breakdown of all closing costs, also known as the HUD1 Settlement Statement. The HUD1 Settlement Statement also sets forth the net proceeds amount due to the seller and the amount of funds needed to close by the buyer. The buyer should never bring a personal check to the closing. It is customary for the title agent and/or realtor to let the buyer know ahead of time how much is needed at the closing so that he/she may bring a cashier’s check.

Ask Questions
Never sign a document that you don’t understand. Don’t hesitate to ask the closer to re-explain what a particular document means.

Come Prepared
The closing officer or agent will then witness and notarize various documents and ask you for your driver’s license or green card. You must bring photo identification with you to the closing.

Documents and Payment
Once all the documents are signed, the seller along with other parties due money from the transaction may or may not receive their check. Sometimes the title company is funded by the buyer’s new lender after the closing and receiving a check could take a few days. The buyer and seller will exchange keys to the property or arrangements will be made to do this at a later date. The realtor may at this time provide information for changing utilities into the new buyer’s name. Other details relating to the sale may be settled at this time as well, such as arranging the removal of items from the house by the seller. Sometimes it is necessary for the seller to remain in the house for awhile after the sale. If this is the case, generally a “leaseback” agreement is negotiated at this time.

Once all the above steps are finished, your closing is complete!

The title agent will record the conveyance deed and/or the new mortgage with the county recorder for public record. The buyer should receive their owner policy and recorded deed in a few weeks, along with a copy of everything signed at the closing. The seller will also be presented with a copy of everything signed.

Documents expected to be signed at closing may include, but not be limited to the following:


  • HUD1 Settlement Statement
  • Compliance Agreement
  • Mortgage
  • Note
  • Truth In Lending
  • Survey Affidavit or New Survey
  • Final Good Faith Estimate
  • Interest Statement
  • Notice of Right to Cancel
  • Name Affidavits
  • Occupancy Affidavit
  • Various IRS forms
  • Completed 1003-Loan Application
  • Flood Insurance Notice


  • HUD1 Settlement Statement
  • Compliance Agreement
  • Conveyance Deed
  • Seller’s Affidavit
  • Gas and/or Pest Inspections
  • Home Warranty
  • Payoff Authorizations
  • Name Affidavits