When I search for real estate information I don’t find much about how closings work in Minnesota. In other states when a house is sold “escrow opens” the process takes place over a period of time and when it is completed the seller gets a check and the buyer gets some keys. Here in Minnesota we close at the table. Buyers and sellers meet for an hour and sign papers and a check is cut for the sellers and they give the buyers the keys. It doesn’t have to work that way. We have closings without buyers or sellers or either.
Closings often take place at title company offices and the title company does all the work. They check for pending assessments and they examine the title to make sure that the sellers really own the property and that they can give sellers clear title.
Some real estate companies also own title companies. Buyers always have a choice and do not have to use the title company that is affiliated with the real estate company and sometimes sellers that are builders or banks will give buyers a discount or free title insurance for using the sellers title company.
Buyers are supposed to receive a final statement from their lender at least a day before the closing that shows how much money the buyer will need to pay for the home and how much money they will need to bring to the closing. It is all itemized.
The title companies charge fees for doing all the work and for doing the actual closing. When buyers and sellers attend the closing they mostly sign papers. There is far more for the buyers than there is for the sellers. The buyers are basically closing on a loan and their biggest closing cost is usually a loan origination fee. For sellers the biggest cost of selling is usually the real estate commissions.
Closings are usually stress free and often buyers and sellers exchange contact information. There really isn’t any reason why a real estate transaction has to be adversarial and most are not.
Real estate agents often go to the closing but are rarely needed because by then our work is done. Most of us only get paid after a successful closing so if something goes wrong during the transaction we usually don’t get paid for our services.