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What to Expect on Closing Day

Chapter 7

What to Expect on Closing Day

Closing on your first house is a time to celebrate — after all, it’s an important milestone in your life! And it’s the last step in buying your new home. The actual closing and paperwork can be tedious and sometimes a little overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Here’s what you should expect on closing day.

How Long Does Closing on a House Take?

Closing on a home usually takes place four to eight weeks after the offer on the home is accepted. This allows time for home inspections, home appraisals, funding and title searches.

What Happens at Closing?

On closing day, the ownership of the property is transferred to you, the buyer. This day consists of transferring funds from escrow, providing mortgage and title fees, and updating the deed of the house to your name. Basically, come closing day, you and the seller sign all the necessary papers to officially seal the deal.

What to Bring to a House Closing

Be proactive and gather the following items that you’ll bring with to the closing:

Closing paperwork

Bring all necessary paperwork with you to closing to make sure nothing is missing, different or overlooked. Some important documents include a photo ID, your home insurance certificate and cashier’s or certified check.

Proof of homeowners insurance

Lenders require an insurance policy before closing. Reach out to your agent to get your new homeowners insurance in place.

Cashier’s or certified check

You’ll pay your closing costs with a certified check or a wire transfer from escrow.

Photo ID

You’ll need to bring a government-issued identification for the title company.

Home Buyer's Checklist Before Closing

Before closing day, review the following checklist to ensure you’ve got everything in order to make the closing day process as smooth as possible.

Contact the closing agent

Once you know who your closing agent is and where they’re located, it’s a good idea to contact their offices to see if they have any special instructions for you. They’ll typically have a list of items you’ll need to bring.

Review your closing documents

Legally, you should receive your closing documents three business days before closing. Make sure you read them prior to closing day so you understand what you’re signing and check that there are no errors. Take notes if you have questions or concerns — you may want to address them before the closing.

Check the basics

Double check all of the basics — spelling, numbers, names, etc. — just to make sure there are no small errors that could turn into bigger issues down the road.

Check the fees

Your most recent loan estimate should be close to your closing disclosure. Some fees may change a little, but there shouldn’t be any big surprises at this stage.

Review seller responsibilities

Review your final walk-through checklist to make sure the seller has taken care of their responsibilities.

Be payment ready

Expect to write that check for closing costs. Plan in advance if you’re transferring funds from another account so they’re cleared.

Bonus closing tip

Write a nice note or give a small gift to the sellers. With a small act of kindness, you can make a fresh start in your new home on a positive note.

More Chapters in This Guide

Steps for First-Time Home Buyers

Not sure where to start when buying a home? Our first time home buyer guide explains what you need to know about buying your first home. Learn more today!

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Found the home of your dreams and want to place an offer? Read our tips for making an offer on a house and learn how much to offer to stay competitive in the market.

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The Home Inspection and Appraisal Process

What can you expect from the home appraisal and inspection process? Our homebuyer guide is here to help demystify home inspection and appraisals. Check it out today!

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Choosing the right insurance policy for your new house is another important step in the home buying process, first time or not. Learn about how homeowners insurance works and find the best coverage for your home today.

Chapter 6 >

What to Expect on Closing Day

Closing on a house is an exciting yet hectic time, but don't worry. Our closing day checklist and tips can help you succeed. Learn more from American Family.

Chapter 7 >

What to Do After Closing on a House

Congratulations! You've closed on your home and can start making it your own. But there are a few final steps you'll need to take. Use the following resources to make your transition into your new home as smooth as possible.

Chapter 8 >

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