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What happens at a real estate closing?

Buying a new home is an exciting process. But the final step before you can receive the keys to your new home involves attending the real estate closing.

According to data from the National Association of REALTORS®, in 2019, people purchased 5.34 million existing homes in the U.S., and each of these transactions had to go through the formal closing process. Several people may attend your closing appointment, including your real estate agent, your attorney, someone from the title company, a notary public and a representative of the seller.

What you sign

On the day of your real estate closing, you will sign three documents: a deed of trust for your mortgage, a closing disclosure and the promissory note. Before you sign any of these documents, especially the ones related to your loan, make sure you thoroughly review them. If you notice something different than you originally agreed to, do not sign the document until you resolve the problem with your lender or seller’s representative.

What you pay

You will pay the down payment on your new house (if you owe one) and any other prepayments tied to the purchase of the property at closing. Additionally, you will likely pay closing costs at this appointment, which usually amount to between 3 and 5% of your mortgage’s total.

Your closing appointment will likely happen four to six weeks after you finalize and sign your sales and purchase contract, depending on the terms of the sale. Your actual closing appointment may take several hours to complete.