After the terms are worked out between you and the seller, the sale is finalized at a meeting called a closing. At this meeting, you and the seller, accompanied by your respective lawyers and real estate agents, sign the settlement papers. Monies are collected, any existing loans or liens are paid, the deed is transferred, and title insurance is issued.
Even if you’re not using a realtor, the sale will still be processed by a title company, whose job is to ensure that the home is really the seller’s to sell, and that there aren’t any outstanding claims against the property. The title company will schedule the closing a month or so after you have signed the final contract. This gives the title company the time it needs research your deed, purchase title insurance, and prepare all of the documents. The title company is responsible for getting everything signed, handling the money, and filing the necessary paperwork with the government.
Expect to sign a lot of papers on closing day. You, the Buyer, is responsible for paying most of the closing costs, including your credit report, appraisal, mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, tax escrow, and loan origination fee to cover the lender’s administrative costs in processing the loan. Some of these costs will be folded into your loan; you will bring a cashier’s check (not a personal check) for your down payment plus any of the closing costs that weren’t rolled into your mortgage.