When We Sign Documents At Closing The Home is Ours, Right?!
Inspection and appraisal are done, maybe final walk-through is also done! Next stop closing at the escrow office. Closing, it sounds like an end of a process. Therefore the home will be yours after closing, right?! Not quite!
Signing Documents at Closing
To buy a home most people get a loan, even if there is no loan, there are papers to sign at escrow. The escrow officer will also prorate taxes, and other payments such as HOA dues. Utilities are NOT part of what is transferred by signing the papers so make sure to get information on where to call to transfer utilities. Most of the time the buyer signs the closing documents the day before, or the day of closing. Sellers can usually sign earlier. Even though this appointment is referred to as “closing” this transaction is not closed until it is funded and recorded.
Funding and Recording
Signing the papers does not transfer home ownership. After papers are signed they are sent back to the lender to be checked. The lender will then release the funds, the loan amount, to escrow. Once escrow has all the funds from the lender, as well as the down payment, the transaction is funded. After it is funded, the new deed and the loan papers are recorded with the county. Once the deed is recorded, the home is now in the new owners name. This transaction has now closed!
The new owner can take possession of the property only after funding and recording is complete. The Washington statewide real estate forms state the new owner can take possession at 9 PM on the date of closing. However, it is customary in our area to have the new buyer take possession, i.e. get the keys, as soon as the deed has been recorded with the county. Funded and recorded, that’s what the buyer really wants to hear!