It’s so exciting when you’ve bought a new home, and as you wait for moving day, the anticipation rises! You’ve packed up most of your current house or apartment, notified everyone of your new address, worked out a new home insurance policy, and likely done a bit of shopping too! It’s also advisable to secure a reputable real estate lawyer before your closing date, as there are several key responsibilities they will look after which help to protect you and your big investment. Before you get those keys however, there is a detailed process to go through on closing day. Transferring land ownership from one person to another is a somewhat complicated legal matter, so for anyone unfamiliar with the process, or if you’re a first-time home buyer, we want to make sure the process runs smoothly for you. Here are the key steps involved before you can finally get those keys and move in:
1) Signing of documents at law office – 1-3 days before closing date
Usually within one to three days of your closing date, you will go to your lawyer’s office to go over the paperwork. They would have already prepared most of these documents in advance, which include the deed or title transfer, property transfer tax forms and the statement of adjustments. Be sure to ask lots of questions during this visit so that you understand everything you are signing. By completing this in advance, you’ll save time on your closing day and hopefully avoid any last-minute glitches. Don’t forget you may still need to go back to the lawyer on closing day to finalize everything; this is just a preliminary step. Be sure to book the necessary time off work for your closing day as everything is done during regular business hours.
2) Arrange for down-payment and closing costs
Just before or on your actual closing date, you will have to pay your down-payment and the closing costs. This is usually one cheque that goes to your lawyer, and from there it gets distributed accordingly. Closing costs involved with buying a home include land transfer taxes, interest and home utilities adjustments, and of course, legal fees.
3) Mortgage funds get transferred
On closing day, your bank or lender will release the mortgage funds that you were approved for and this goes directly to your lawyer; it doesn’t get transferred to you. Your lawyer is the ‘middle-man’ in the closing process. Be prepared for this transaction to take up to a few hours to be processed and everything to be signed off on.
4) Payment to seller gets processed
Once your bank or lender has transferred the funds to your lawyer, your lawyer then transfers the final payment to the seller’s lawyer, not to the seller directly.
5) The home is registered in your name
After everyone has been paid, your name (and your spouse’s name if applicable) will be registered on the deed. This is done online and usually doesn’t take very long. You are now the legal owners of the home; congratulations! Your lawyer will send you a copy of the deed – be sure to keep it stored in a safe location.
6) You get the keys to your new home
Finally, after all the legal and financial details are finalized, you will receive the keys to your house from either your lawyer or Realtor®. It’s the best part of the whole process and so rewarding for everyone involved! The key exchange usually happens later in the business day, so if you’ve booked a mover for that day, be sure to tell them you likely won’t be ready to move in until late afternoon.
At Clairwood Real Estate, we know every step of the home buying process, including the closing day details; it’s our job. Our experienced Realtors® can help make the process of buying a home in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Meaford, The Blue Mountains or Grey County easy. Connect with us today at 705-445-7085 – we’re here for all your home buying or selling needs.