Step 6: Closing on Your Home

Just because an offer to buy contract has been accepted doesn't mean the purchase process is over. In fact, there are a number of steps involved in this final phase.

Homebuyers will need to make an offer to close to start the final ball rolling. This can kick off a chain of events that may come in fast succession, leading up to an actual closing date to sign all paperwork.


Timeline of events for closing on a home.

The Time Line

The process of going from making an offer to close can depend on a number of factors, including financing, home inspections, the completion of necessary repairs, the creation of the abstract and more.

While many homes close within 30 days of the final offer, it can take less or more time. Most home sales tend to close toward the end of the month, however the actual closing date is negotiated in the contract.

About Inspections

Prior to agreeing to a final closing, a buyer and his or her lender may request inspections of the property under consideration. This is standard procedure that is designed to protect both the buyer and the lender from unforeseen problems with a home.

The lender may require:

  • An overall home inspection to determine the state of the property in question
  • A termite inspection

If a lender does not request the above inspections, a buyer may also choose to have them completed, generally at personal expense.

Making Repairs

It is not at all uncommon for a final purchase to be contingent on the completion of necessary repairs to a home. Lenders often require this in the case of termite or structural damage, for example. In most cases, the seller will absorb the cost of the repairs or may lower the purchase price accordingly to cover estimated costs. Buyers can request that repairs be handled with a certain quality of materials, but they may have to pay the price for replacements that go beyond standard quality.

The timeframe on repairs will generally coincide for completion and final inspection to take place prior to the contracted final closing date. This is especially the case if repairs are lender requested as is often the case with a government-backed loan.

Getting Financing In Order

Although many buyers gain loan preapproval prior to searching for a home, the actual loan documents are not generally drawn up until a property is selected. During the final days and weeks before a closing, the lender involved will likely become very involved in the process. The lender may require:

  • Further financial documentation from the buyer
  • An appraisal
  • Proof of down payment availability
  • An inspection(s) on the property
  • The abstract on the property

Getting The Abstract Ready

This is a document that details the financial history of the property in question. It will include a title search, a detailing of all mortgages that have been taken out on the property, any forfeitures, liens and so on. It will also detail title changes and include other tracking information.

Bringing the abstract up to date is typically paid for by the seller while the buyer pays for it to be reviewed. Problems are generally addressed by the seller.

Preparing For Closing

After all the above hurdles have been addressed, the contract moves forward to closing. This is the appointment to sign all final paperwork, exchange money and obtain the keys to the property.

Buyers may need to bring these things to closing:

  • A cashier's or certified check for any buyer absorbed closing costs
  • A driver's license
  • Social Security card

Uncomplicated closings generally take about an hour to complete. A buyer's Realtor will typically attend this meeting, along with the seller and the seller's representative. A representative from the title company may also be present along with any real estate attorneys the buyer or seller have retained.

Once the final paperwork is signed, sealed and delivered, the buyer can generally take possession of the home. This may be contingent on a contractual agreement to allow the seller to remain in the home for a set period of time in preparation of his or her own move. is an informational website created to help educate buyers.

Find Your New Home

Thank you so much for all the help you gave us in finding a home. You did a great job, and when you couldn't be there you hooked us up with Karen who was a great person that we all enjoyed.

We felt you went above and beyond the call of duty.

- Norman and Betty Roeder

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