Closing on a House: What to Expect at Closing

March 22, 2021 | 4 min read | The mortgage process
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The mortgage closing is the final 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, whether in person or virtual, so you can feel more comfortable before closing day.

What is a Mortgage Closing?

A mortgage closing occurs on a purchase or refinance and is the process in which you finalize the terms of your loan to make it officially yours. 

What are Typical Closing Costs?

Closing costs may vary depending on the property type, loan size, 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, you can roll closing costs into the loan. 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 to Prepare before Closing on a House: Closing Checklist

The best way to prepare for your mortgage closing is to make sure you are comfortable with your loan’s final terms and the associated costs and fees. You may refer to your closing disclosure to review the final terms, which is explained below. Additionally, it would be best if you avoided any of the following before closing on a house:

  • Avoid making any large payments or purchases 
  • Don’t take out new loans (credit cards, auto loans, etc.)
  • Avoid making any changes to your employment before the closing 

Click here for a more in-depth list of do’s and don’ts during the mortgage process to ensure you have a smooth mortgage closing process.

What Happens at Closing?

Once you are prepared, you will attend the closing on the scheduled date. You will review and sign all the necessary documents to finalize the mortgage. The list of mortgage closing documents you will sign is listed below.

What happens the week before closing on a house?

It depends. You will typically receive a clear-to-close and your closing disclosure at least three days before your official mortgage closing. So, the week before your closing, you may be asked to provide some final documents to clear conditions, or you may be coordinating a closing date with all parties involved.

Who Attends the Mortgage Closing?

Typically, the following people will attend the closing:

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

What is the List of Mortgage Closing Documents you Will Sign?

At the closing, you will be primarily responsible for reviewing and signing important documents such as:

  • 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 what you are signing, just ask!

What is a Closing Disclosure?

The closing disclosure is a 5-page form that outlines the final details of your loan, including the program, 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 that all the presented information is correct. Some necessary items to look for are:

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

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 if you are purchasing or refinancing, how quickly you provide all your mortgage documents, and how quickly the mortgage underwriter approves your loan. GuardHill can close your loan in as little as 30 days, but the process may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. 

The actual mortgage closing may only take a few hours. 

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. 

What Happens After Closing?

Congratulations! If you are purchasing, you will now be the official owner and have the keys to your new home. If you are refinancing, your new loan terms will go into effect! After your closing, you will want to make sure you are organized and understand how to make your first mortgage payment. Also, you will want to make sure you set up auto-pay or monthly reminders for future payments. 

When is my First Mortgage Payment Due?

Typically, your first mortgage payment is due 30-days after your closing. Payments are usually made on the first of the month. However, you can review the payment terms at the closing or speak with your mortgage specialist to advise.