The following is a visual representation of the Closing “Real Estate” process when buying homes as a Nomad. It is part of the Closing process that you’d use for closing on a property.
Closing: Closing “Real Estate”
There are two primary groups of documents that you’ll see at closing. One set for closing the real estate portion of the transaction. And the other for closing the financing portion of the purchase. Let’s look at each step for the real estate portion in more detail. We’ll cover the “Financing” portion in the next stage.
- 2 forms of photo ID
- Your checkbook - sometimes there will be a last minute adjustment to the closing numbers resulting in a small shortage that the Title Insurance Company will accept a personal check for
- Your funds required for Closing (usually a certified check)
Be sure to bring certified funds, two forms of ID and your checkbook.
Mark this task complete after Closing.
If you’re buying a property with a tenant in place, there is the question about what rents you will get at closing. This is usually negotiated in our contract ahead of time, but this is a good time to review the two options and how they work.
In your offer to purchase, you had the option of selecting rents accrued or rents actually received.
For rents accrued, you would receive pro-rated rents (to the day of closing) on the property if they were due–even if the seller has not yet collected them. This is my preference in most cases. If the seller has not collected the rent (yet) and has paid you the rent at closing that means that the seller may still try to collect rents from the tenants even though they are no longer the owner of the property or managing it.
For rents received, you would receive pro-rated rents (to the day of closing) that the seller actually received. If they have not yet collected the rent from the tenant, you would be responsible to collect that.
Reviewing Documents Ahead of Time
Some buyers prefer to read and review all their closing documents in detail. Since closers for title companies often book their closings about an hour apart, sometimes it helps for buyers to get copies of all their closing documents ahead of time so they can read them at their leisure in the week or so prior to closing. Then, at closing they’re just verifying the documents are the same ones they’ve already read and signing them.
“Real Estate” Closing Documents
The following are likely documents you’ll see and/or need to sign at closing to close the real estate portion of your closing. Each title company and each lender may have slightly different and/or additional forms, so it is very unlikely you’ll see all of these and you’re likely to see additional ones not mentioned.
- Buyer’s Settlement Statement (sometimes called Closing Statement or HUD-1)
- Deed (see types of deeds below)
- Deed Preparation Affidavit
- Closing Instructions (again)
- Real Property Transfer Declaration – TD-1000
- Owner’s Affidavit of Occupancy
- Privacy Release Form
- Title Disclosures
- Homeowner’s Disclosure Form (for HOA if applicable)
- Homeowners Association Indemnity (for HOA if applicable)
- Utility Transfer Forms (if applicable)
- Utility Escrow Agreement (if applicable)
- Water and Sewer Agreement (if applicable)
- Final Utility Bill or some other summary
- Bill of Sale
- Buyer’s Final Affidavit
- Certificate of Taxes Due
- Real Estate Tax/Assessment Agreement
- Compliance Agreement and Limited Power of Attorney
- Some new construction builders have additional forms and disclosures.
- FDIC Coverage Disclosure Statement
- Verification of Customer Identify
- Assignment of Leases
- Lease (for Post Closing Occupancy Agreement)
Copy of Deed
IMPORTANT NOTE: You will receive a copy of the deed from your closing at closing from the closer. If you ever need another copy contact your real estate agent or the closer from the title company and they can get you a copy.
WARNING: There are companies that will mail you after your closing asking you pay $100 (give or take) to get a copy of your deed. The letter looks official and can be worded very strongly; don’t pay for it. Your real estate agent or closer from the title company can get you one for free.
In general, if you receive something in the mail that feels even remotely suspicious, contact your real estate agent, lender or closer from title (probably in that order).
The following are a few of the more common types of real estate deeds.
- General Warranty Deed
- Special Warranty Deed
- Deed of Trust
- Quit-Claim Deed – Not typically used at closing.
Assignment of Leases
If you’re buying a property with a tenant already in place, you will want to get an “Assignment of Leases” from the seller assigning the leases to you.
If you fail to get an “Assignment of Leases” the tenant could argue that their agreement is with the old seller and that they are not required to pay you rent and that you do not have the authority to evict them.
Lease for Post-Closing Occupancy Agreement
If the seller is remaining in the property past closing (delayed possession), you may want to discuss with your attorney whether you should have the seller sign a short term lease. Most buyers won’t do this for less than 30 days (some would even argue 60 days), but it may not be a bad idea to have a document outlining what the buyer and seller have agreed to in terms of post-closing occupancy. That agreement would look just like a lease in my, non-legal, opinion.
Any rent and security deposit will usually be negotiated prior to closing via the Post-Closing Occupancy Addendum.
Property Taxes on New Construction
In many counties the tax assessor has assessed new construction purchases on the vacant lot that existed prior to the new house that was built and you purchased. This can mean that your property taxes will be very low until the tax assessor assesses the new property.
This can cause some problems since most lenders and title companies are going to be collecting estimated taxes as if the assessor was charging you for the full taxes on the home.
If you receive a large check from your escrow company as a escrow over payment/refund, realize that you should NOT spend that money. Often you’ll need to pay that money to the assessor once they catch up with assessing the property.
Further, your escrow may try to lower the amount they’re collecting, reducing your overall monthly payment on your mortgage because they think your taxes are much lower than we originally thought… again… they’re probably wrong and you’ll probably need to make up the difference.
Real Estate Agent Attending Closing
It is my opinion that your real estate agent should attend closing with you. Some real estate agents don’t.
Next: Closing “Financing”
See the Closing “Financing” process next.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This checklist is based on what I personally use with clients in Northern Colorado and is based on the Colorado Real Estate Commission approved Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate. Please rely on your local real estate agent for how it works in your local real estate market. This process will definitely vary in different States.
The following are improvements I plan to make to this page based on some of my Standard Process Improvement Questions.
- Make a dynamic checklist version of the Real Estate Agent Reviews Settlement Statements on the real estate agent only page.
- Add reminder about taxes for new construction to the “After” process as as reminder.
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