Taking Ownership of Your New Home
“Closing” escrow is the process of finalizing the sale, ultimately transferring ownership of the home from seller to buyer. The final steps to reaching the “closing table” are:
Review the Closing Disclosure
The Closing Disclosure is a 5-page document that provides final details about the mortgage loan you have selected. It includes the loan terms, your projected monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get your mortgage and purchase the property (closing costs).
Your lender or mortgage broker is required to give you the Closing Disclosure at least three business days before you sign the loan documents. This federally mandated 3-day window allows you time to compare your final terms and costs to those estimated in the Loan Estimate that you previously received from the lender. The three days also gives you time to ask your lender any questions before you go to the closing table.
If you’re making an all-cash purchase, there will not be a closing disclosure, however the escrow agency will prepare a Settlement Statement detailing your closing costs.
Before you sign closing documents, you’ll have an opportunity option to conduct a pre-closing walk-through of the property. This is the opportunity to ensure the property is still in the same physical condition as when you executed the purchase contract.
You’ll also confirm any negotiated repairs have been completed, either through your own visual inspection, a professional re-inspection, or by reviewing repair receipts and warranties provided by the seller.
Recording and Closing Escrow
Expect to sign your closing and loan documents the morning of the scheduled closing date, or (ideally) a day or two prior — that’s also the day you’ll bring a certified check or arrange a wire transfer to cover the balance of your down payment and closing costs. On closing day, once all documents are signed by both the buyer and seller, and funds have been received from all sources (you and your lender), the escrow agency will “record” the deed with the county, transferring ownership, and enabling you to take possession of your new home!
Note: In Arizona, “closing” doesn’t officially occur until the deed is recorded by Pima County, which can be anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.. Since you can’t receive keys until the sale is recorded, it’s best to plan movers and other appointments for the day after closing.