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The Buying Process: Closing Day

Here's what usually happens at closing:

  • The home buyer will bring a cashier's check to cover all remaining closing costs and fees.

  • The property title will be signed over from the homeowner to the buyer, thus transferring ownership.

  • The closing agent (or in some cases a lawyer or notary) will register the new deed with the appropriate government office. After that, the home buyer will be listed as the official owner of the property.

  • The real estate agent(s) involved in the transaction will receive their commission fees.

  • The seller will receive any proceeds they earned from the sale, once their mortgage balance and closing costs have been paid off.

It's not uncommon for home buyers to sign their names a dozen or more times, before all is said and done. There are mortgage-related documents, legal disclosures, tax records and more.

As a buyer, you will probably have to sign the following documents at closing:

  • Property deed

  • Bill of sale

  • Transfer tax declaration

  • Mortgage agreement and note

  • Closing Disclosure

When the buyer finishes signing all of the closing documents -- and all funds have been properly distributed -- the deed of ownership will transfer from the homeowner to the buyer. This is when you become a homeowner. If you're at a joint closing, the seller will hand over the keys. If you close separately, the seller's real estate agent might deliver the keys. It varies.

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