Closing on a House: What to Know About the Mortgage Closing Process

January 7, 2021 | 3 min read | The mortgage process
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The mortgage closing is the last step in the home buying process, which means you are one step closer to finalizing your mortgage! Here is what you may expect at your mortgage closing process, whether in person or virtual.

How Have Mortgage Closings Changed in the Last Year?

Within the last year, GuardHill has adapted to performing virtual and mobile closings for those who prefer to close at the comfort and safety of their own home. 

  • Virtual Closings: For purchase or refinance transactions on New York properties, the borrower can sign the closing documents while on a video conference with a notary. 
  • Mobile Closings: This is a common way of closing right now. A mobile closing is when the notary travels to the borrower’s home and will leave the closing documents wherever the borrower feels most comfortable. We will often set up a table in the borrower’s driveway, so no one enters the home.

Of course, we are always willing to accommodate our clients’ preferences to make sure they still feel comfortable and safe. 

How Long Does it Take to Close on a House? 

The time it may take for you to close on your home may vary depending on how quickly you provide your mortgage documents and how quickly the mortgage underwriter approves your loan. Typically, the process will take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. 

The actual closing may take a few hours. 

What Happens at the Closing and Who Will Attend?

At the closing, you will review and sign all necessary documents to finalize the mortgage. The closing may occur at the office of the settlement agent, the title company’s office, the mortgage company’s office, at your home, or even through a video chat. 

Typically, the following people will attend the closing:

  • Settlement/escrow agent
  • Closing agent
  • Homebuyer (you)
  • Seller
  • Seller’s real estate agent
  • Home buyer’s real estate agent
  • Attorneys

List of Other Mortgage Closing Documents to Sign

At the closing, you will review and sign all the legal documents to finalize the transfer of ownership of the property and mortgage. Here are some documents you may be signing at the closing:

  • The closing disclosure 
  • A promissory note that states you will commit to repaying the loan.
  • The mortgage
  • Federal and State Government-mandated documents
  • Other documents from the mortgage company

If you are not familiar with any of the terms in the documents or unsure of what you are signing, remember to ask plenty of questions! 

What is a Closing Disclosure?

The closing disclosure is a 5-page form that outlines the final details on your loan, including the loan terms, monthly payments, fees, and any additional closing costs. The borrower must receive and sign the closing disclosure at least three business days before the closing. 

Before you attend your closing, make sure you review the closing disclosure to ensure all the presented information is correct. Some necessary items to look at are:

  • Your personal information (name, address, etc.) 
  • Loan terms (program, rate, etc.)
  • Monthly mortgage payment
  • Closing costs 

What are Typical Closing Costs?

Closing costs may vary depending on the property type, loan size, state, and loan terms. On average, closing costs may range from 2 to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price.

Can Closing Costs be Rolled into the Loan?

Yes. Borrowers will have the option to roll the closing costs into the loan amount or pay the fees upfront (at closing). Speak with your mortgage lender to determine what the best option is for you. Just remember, you will pay interest on the closing costs if they are rolled into the loan. 

How Can I Best Prepare for my Mortgage Closing? 

The best way to prepare for your mortgage closing is to make sure you know and are comfortable with the final terms of your loan and associated costs and fees. A great way to review that information is to double-check your closing disclosure. Additionally, avoid making any large payments, taking out any new loans, or changing employment before the closing.