Real estate closings can be a confusing and overwhelming process, especially for those who are going through it for the first time. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions surrounding real estate closings in North Carolina that can make the process even more difficult to navigate. In this article, we will highlight the five largest misconceptions about real estate closings in North Carolina and provide clarification on what is true and what is not.
Misconception 1: Closing day is the only day you need to worry about.
While closing day is certainly an important day, there are many steps that need to be taken leading up to the closing. It is important to keep in mind that the closing process can take several weeks or even months to complete. From the time that the purchase agreement is signed until the closing day, there are many tasks that need to be completed, such as the completion of a home inspection, the ordering of a title search, and the resolution of any contingencies in the purchase agreement. It is important to remain vigilant for communications from your agent, attorney’s office, lender, and other affiliated parties during the closing process.
Misconception 2: The seller pays all closing costs.
Traditionally, the seller pays certain closing costs, such as the commission for the real estate agents, but the buyer is also responsible for paying certain closing costs. These can include costs such as the title search, appraisal fee, and any points charged by the lender. It is important to review the purchase agreement and understand which party is responsible for paying which costs.
Before closing you may receive several versions of a closing disclosure. The closing disclosure will state the final amounts being paid to close on the purchase or sale and will include charges from the lender, attorney’s office, and other affiliated parties. The amounts on the closing disclosure may change several times during the closing process and may be received from the lender or attorney’s office. While it is important to review the closing disclosures as they are presented to you, until you receive a final version of the closing disclosure from the attorney’s office, the amounts on the closing disclosure may change.
Misconception 3: The closing process is always quick and easy.
Real estate transactions can be complex and involve many different parties, including the buyer, seller, real estate agents, lenders, and attorneys. While the closing process can be relatively smooth, it is important to be prepared for the possibility of delays or complications. Staying on top of emails and phone communications with the involved parties may greatly reduce delays and complications.
Misconception 4: The Buyer receives keys at closing.
It may seem logical for the Buyer to expect to receive the keys to their new home immediately after signing the Lender’s loan documents at the attorney’s office. Although Buyer may have already paid their closing costs, there are several additional steps that must occur before the Buyer officially owns the property and can obtain the keys from the Seller. These additional steps can often take several hours to complete, depending upon the time it takes for the Lender to send their funds and for the attorney’s office to verify all information has been received and to record the deed with the Register of Deeds Office. Only after the deed has been recorded with the Register of Deeds Office does the Buyer officially receive title to the real property.
Misconception 5: The Buyer and Seller sign closing documents at the same time.
While all parties to a closing may have traditionally met at the same time, around a large table, in the attorney’s office to sign their respective documents, real estate closings no longer follow this format. Typically, the buyer’s and seller’s closings are set at different times throughout the closing process. While the Buyer’s closing is set by the buyer, their Lender, and the attorney’s office, the seller’s closing is set between the seller and the attorney’s office and can often be completed in advance of the closing date.
In conclusion, real estate closings can be a confusing and overwhelming process, but by understanding the truths behind these common misconceptions, you can help to make the process go more smoothly. It is important to be responsive, to review the costs involved, to understand the process leading up to closing, and to anticipate what to expect after closing. Keep in mind that the purchase of a home is a big financial commitment, so it’s important to be informed and prepared as much as possible.