Buyers often wonder what happens at settlement. This may vary from state to state. I am only familiar with what happens in my area.
Once the loan is approved and you receive the mortgage commitment you have to wait for closing.
Depending on what was agreed in your agreement of sale, closing can take place in your Agent's office, at title company, attorney's office or a mutually agreed upon place. You will receive a settlement notice a few days prior to closing..
A few days before closing your agent, lender, attorney , or title company will prepare a preliminary closing disclosure statement . It is a form that has closing costs and all related charges for buyer and seller . This will give you an idea of how much money you have to bring to closing table.
Please bring a Certified check or Cashiers check . You agent will tell you the name of Payee. Do not bring a personal check for this amount. It is also a good idea to bring your checkbook incase you need a few dollars more than the amount quoted.
IMPORTANT. If you receive email to wire funds it may be a scam. Call your agent or the title company directly to verify .
This practice varies in different states. Check with your agent.
You should have a final walk through of the house you are buying prior to settlement. Take a list of things the seller had agreed to repair and check to see if it was done. Inspect the entire house and make sure it is in same condition as it was when you made the offer to purchase except for the repairs made. Ask for receipts and permits if required. Check heater, air conditioner and other systems . ( May not apply for 'as is ' sales ), read your agreement of sale
Bring photo ID and anything else required by mortgage company. I had an experience where the husband drove the car so the wife did not have her pocketbook and we had to wait till she got it.
Few days before settlement call the utility companies and tell them to transfer to your name as of settlement date. The sellers will disconnect as of that date and if you forget you may not have heat or electric.
You will sign a lot of papers regarding the mortgage at settlement. The loan officer or title company agent will explain all the papers.
The final paper you sign will be the closing disclosure statement It has all the costs itemized. Save a copy of this form for the following year when you prepare your tax returns.
Some of the items are tax deductible.
The seller will give you the keys and remote openers for the garage, warranty papers for appliances .
You should however get a locksmith and change the locks.