When Do I Get My Keys?
By Jessica Elgin
You just closed your new home…or so you thought. You worked with your Realtor to find the perfect home, negotiate the contract, and navigate the inspections. The lender had you jump through a ton of hoops, and everything looks good. Why does it seem like so long then before you actually get your keys?
To understand this, you must understand the entire process of closing on a home. There is a lot of coordinating happening among many different people during the final 4-5 days of each transaction. Here are the final steps of what to expect when closing on a home loan in Washington County:
Closing Disclosure – This is a five-page document received 3 days prior to signing your loan documents. This form is required by law and provides final details about your mortgage. It includes the loan terms, your projected monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and closing costs when you get your mortgage. Review this form carefully and make sure that you are comfortable with your purchase.
Clear to Close – An underwriter will review each file one last time and make sure everything is correct and in order. Then, they can give the final approval to fund the loan. The lender then “packages” the loan and sends it to title. Some lenders will provide the Clear to Close almost simultaneously with the Closing Disclosures. Others may take up to 3 additional days to provide it.
Packaging Docs – Once the title company receives the final loan package from the lender, they can then prepare the documents to be signed. The package will be reconciled with the other side of the transaction, and all the numbers are re-run for accuracy. The title company makes sure that the seller, buyer, lender, and Realtors numbers all match. Sometimes there may be additional vendors that will need to be paid through title, and this all must be reconciled. Be patient. At this point, they are working as fast as they can to get you signed.
Signing – Signing is the point when you physically sign the documents. This is usually done at a title company with your Title Agent. Signing can also be done remotely with a mobile notary. The Title Agent is an unbiased third-party that is there to explain all of the documents to you. Your Realtor and Lender may also be at the signing. This ensures that any questions you may still have are answered quickly and do not delay the actual closing.
Wiring Funds – This step is dependent on you. The title company will give you wire instructions for paying your closing costs and down payment. Take these to your bank as soon as possible. You can send this wire prior to signing. Be careful though! Make sure you speak with your title company and confirm all instructions, including wire numbers prior to sending. DO NOT rely or confirm on an email. Email hacking is the most common form of wire fraud!
Funding – Once the documents are signed, title will return these to the lender. The lender then wires money to the title company so they can disburse the funds accordingly.
Disbursement of Funds – The title company disburses the funds to the appropriate parties. If there are different title companies for each side of the transaction, there will be a transfer of funds between title companies before loans and other vendors can be paid off.
Recording – Title will record the documents with the county. This is done electronically and can happen the same day if funds are received early enough. Title will contact both Realtors and any other parties to the transaction. It’s now official! You own the home!
NOW you get your keys! I know this is a long process, but it is necessary to protect you, the consumer. You can now enter your home with a sense of peace, knowing that each step was double-checked!