Once you're nearing the end of your real estate transaction, you're likely excited at the prospect of finally closing on your home and moving in. The buying process is lengthy and involved, but once the closing date draws close, thinking about your new life might fill you with anticipation. By this point, you've already had your offer accepted, applied for a mortgage, completed the inspection, and made sure the issues discovered during the inspection were resolved. The final step is simply to attend the closing to ensure the financing for your home is in place.
Whether or not you have bought a home before, it's natural to be nervous before and during a real estate closing. This is because at closing, you'll be signing all of the documents that will affect the transfer of the home to you, pay the closing costs, and receive the keys to your new home.
Closing can be a lot less nerve-wracking if you know what to bring with you and are fully prepared. Being prepared and bringing the right items can help to prevent issues that could otherwise arise right at the end of the home purchase process. To help you as you prepare for the last step you'll need to complete to finish buying your home, an NJ real estate attorney at the Ziegler Law Group, LLC has gathered information about the things you should bring to your closing when the date arrives with this buyer's checklist.
1. Two Forms of Identification
The closing will be attended by all of the parties involved in your real estate transaction, including you, the seller, your real estate lawyer in NJ, a representative of your mortgage lender, the real estate agents, and a representative of the title company. The title company will want to confirm your identity by checking your identity. You will need to bring two forms of identification with you, including a current and valid government-issued photo ID and a second form of ID that can be used to verify your name.
Any of the following forms of photo identification will work at closing:
- Your valid U.S. driver's license
- Your valid U.S. photo ID
- Your U.S. passport
- Your foreign passport
If anyone else will also be on your mortgage loan with you, they also need to bring a valid photo identification card.
You'll need a second form of ID to allow the title company to verify your name such as including one of the following:
- Birth certificate
- Social Security card
- Debit or credit card
- Resident alien card
The title company must verify each person's identity who is listed on the mortgage, so make sure that you bring valid forms of ID with you.
2. Cashier’s Check for the Closing Costs
Before the date of your closing, your mortgage lender will send you a settlement statement that includes an itemized list of all of the closing costs you will have to pay at closing with a total. You are responsible for paying these fees at your closing and will need to bring the payment with you.
You'll also need to pay the downpayment for your home, property taxes, and prepaid interest. Your mortgage lender or the title company will tell you the total before the date arrives. A personal check or debit card payment is not sufficient. The lender will want you to pay the fees by bringing a certified cashier's check or arranging a wire transfer. You can go to your bank to get a cashier's check. The difference between a personal check and a cashier's check from your bank is that the bank certifies you have enough funds to pay the amount listed on the cashier's check, so it gives more security to the lender. Cashier's checks also have other features that make them harder to counterfeit, including watermarks.
3. Closing Disclosure
At least three days before your closing date, your lender will send you a closing disclosure that includes the final costs and terms of your mortgage loan. The closing disclosure includes the total amount of your mortgage loan, your rate of interest, and the monthly payment. It will also tell you the amount of each payment that will go toward the principal, private mortgage insurance, interest, homeowner's insurance, and property taxes. It also includes your closing costs and how much you will pay at closing.
Be sure to bring your closing disclosure with you. When you're preparing to sign your mortgage documents, you should compare the costs with those listed on your closing disclosure. If there are any differences, make sure to thoroughly question the title company and lender representatives. Don't sign documents if the closing costs and fees do not match what you were already told.
In addition to the closing disclosure, bring copies of everything you have signed during the mortgage application process with you. It's best to bring all of your documents just in case something comes up. Having documents with you to back up what you say can help to iron out any confusion.
4. Insurance Proof
You must purchase homeowner's insurance before your mortgage is approved. Your policy protects you in case your home is damaged because of an unexpected event or natural disaster such as a fire or tornado. Your lender will want to verify your coverage. Bring the declarations page from your insurance policy, which will list your name, the address of the home, a description of the property, and your insurance premium. Talk to the title company and your lender to ensure you're bringing the right proof of insurance with you to closing.
5. Professional Representative
Closing is an important legal event, and you should not attend without appropriate representation to protect your interests. Since you'll be signing lots of legal documents and making a large purchase, it's important to have an experienced professional with you to answer your questions and review your closing documents with you.
Make sure your NJ real estate lawyer and your real estate agent will be present. If your representative can't attend in person, make sure one of their associates will plan to attend with you. If you are out of state at the time of the closing, you can have your professional representative attend for you while you attend remotely in some cases.
Closing: Preparation is the Key
Most people feel some anxiety when they get close to the date of closing on a mortgage. To reduce some of the stress that you might experience, be prepared and gather all of the documents to bring. It makes sense to collect your documents and place them together in a file so that everything is already together and ready the night before you attend. Talk to your real estate lawyer in NJ before your closing date to make sure you don't forget anything.
Talk to an NJ Real Estate Attorney
If you are buying a home, it's a good idea to retain a knowledgeable real estate attorney to represent you throughout the process. Contact the Ziegler Law Group, LLC to request a consultation and learn how we can help by calling us at (973) 533-1100.
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