Home sellers and buyers in Illinois may work for a long time to find just the right home or conclude a successful sale. The real estate closing process is the final step in making the transaction official. At a closing, the ownership of the home is formally and officially transferred from the seller to the buyer. The date of the closing is set after the buyer and seller have already agreed on the purchase price and other major terms of the transaction. Typically, a real estate closing involves a number of professionals in addition to the buyer and seller, including agents, lenders, title agencies and real estate attorneys.
Scheduling a real estate closing
While the buyer and seller agree on a closing date, that schedule can sometimes shift if issues arise during the process. Closing is often called escrow because a third party protects all of the funds and documents through the process, overseeing the transfer of funds and property from one party to the other. The closing process includes title insurance and a title search, making sure the property is free and clear to sell. In most cases, buyers are purchasing their home through a mortgage, so they must ensure that their mortgage loan is approved and available for the closing date.
Preparing for changes
In most cases, a home inspection precedes the closing date and may expose issues that lead to real estate transactions being renegotiated, especially if there was an inspection contingency in the purchase offer. After any renegotiation and a confirmation of the mortgage loan, the buyer will deposit their down payment into escrow, while the seller will place the title of the home with the escrow company as well.
During the actual closing itself, the buyer and seller as well as their representatives will come together in-person to review and sign all legal documents and transfer final payments. After the closing, the official ownership of the home will now rest with the buyer.