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ABC's of Buying Florida Real Estate




What Happens at the "Closing" on the Home you Contracted to Buy

  First, let's understand what "closing" means. The closing, in the view of Judie Berger, a respected Sarasota real estate agent, is the final and most pleasant step in the transaction of buying a home. It's the meeting at which the seller and the buyer sit down together (or separately) with a "closing agent" to finalize the deal and transfer ownership of the home to the new owner. Depending on the state you are in, the closing agent may or may not be an attorney. In any case, you have a right to have an attorney of your choosing there to represent you, although in many states that is not necessary.

What is going to happen at that meeting?

  • You will need to present proof or receipt that you have paid for your home owner's insurance policy for the new home.
  • You will sign the mortgage agreement and mortgage note. In those papers you will be agreeing to the lending and repayment provisions and schedules. You will also agree that if you fail to make payments, the lender is entitled to sell your property and apply the sale price against the amount you owe plus expenses.
  • The closing agent will list the money you owe the seller (remainder of down payment, prepaid taxes, etc.)
  • The closing agent will then list any monies the seller owes you (unpaid taxes, etc, if applicable).
  • The closing agent will provide you a "settlement statement" listing by line item all of those costs that you will pay.
    Hopefully, you have seen this statement beforehand so you know the amount of the certified check you were to bring to this meeting. There may be reasonably small differences from the numbers you've seen before due to adjusting certain estimated items, such as your share of property taxes due, to the exact date of the closing
  • You will need to provide a certified check to cover those fees, taxes, down payment, etc to the closing agent. "Remember," says a prominent Sarasota luxury homes realtor, a personal check will not be accepted."
  • The seller, via the closing agent, will give you the title to the house in the form of a signed deed.
  • You will then be free to take possession of the home.
  • Shortly after the closing meeting, the deed and mortgage will then be recorded by the closing agent in the Public Records of your (usually county) listing you as the new homeowner.

  If you, your mortgage provider, your Florida Realtor like Brian Ward or Connie Belmont and the closing agent have all fulfilled your responsibilities properly, this will be a very pleasant meeting. The only pain you'll sense will be the number of times you will have to sign your name.


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