Most home buyers and sellers are only vaguely aware of what a closing is. Here in Minnesota we close at the table which means that the buyers and sellers get together and sign documents. Checks, keys and often best wishes and advice are exchanged. Either party can choose to “pre-sign” and skip the closing and that happens too. Occasionally so much animosity has built up during the buy/sell process that buyers and sellers opt to close in separate rooms.
In Minnesota purchase agreements (contracts to buy a home) have to have a closing date in them. Closings do not always happen on time. The most common reasons for a delay is delayed loan approval. There are a ton of reasons for this too and no penalty to the lender for a delayed closing.
Closings are usually held in a conference room at a title company. Even though I run a fairly paperless business closings involve a lot of actual paper documents and often require copiers and believe it or not fax machines.
On homes that are financed prior to or during the closing money is wired to the title companies trust account and that money is used to pay for the house. Checks for the proceeds of the sale are cut and given to the sellers. The actual closing usually takes an hour and buyers will be doing most of the signing because of all of those loan docs.
Title companies provide title insurance for buyers and they make sure the necessary documents get filed with the county. They also send money to the sellers mortgage company to pay off the mortgage and they prepare these wonderful settlement statements that show all of the charges buyers and sellers pay when the buy or sell real estate.
Working as a closer requires a license. Closers are the people who make sure every t is crossed and i is dotted.
Some home buyers and sellers let their lender of real estate agent recommend a title company and others search the internet looking at prices. Either way buyers and sellers always have a choice. Usually the closing takes place at the buyer’s title company. Closings are often scheduled for Friday at the end of the month.
After the closing we can usually find out how much the home sold for.