- Closing is not to be confused with Recording. Closing occurs when your lender is ready to loan the money while adhering to the dates specified in the Purchase & Sale Agreement. By federal law, your lender must issue a Closing Disclosure (CD) for you to sign at least three business days (including Saturday, in this instance only) prior to recording. It's okay for an electronic signature to be used for this. Once the CD is signed, the lender will send their documents to the escrow department and escrow will permit you to make a closing appointment. It's quite the daisy chain of events and is the reason that we do not often know when closing will happen until a day or two before it happens. Try to be flexible or to let us know when you absolutely cannot have a closing appointment. It will take about 45 minutes to an hour and it must be done in person with "wet" signatures (either here or sending it back here by express-type mail service or using a POA that is here). The seller may close in a different location on a different day than you. Once you sign all the loan documents at closing, the lender sends the money to the title company, and then the title company records the sale at the recorders office. This is usually the next business day after closing. If you close on a Friday, the transaction records on Monday (unless it's a holiday). You cannot move into your new home until recording. Recording is the date listed in the contract, so in order to comply with the contract we need to make sure and close at least one business day before recording.
- We have seen hiccups in getting a cashier's check or wire transfer of funds for closing, especially if the sums are very large. Please call your bank, or whoever you will get the cashier's check from, and walk them through exactly what you plan to do. There are surprise waiting periods for certain transfers. Like what, you ask? Well, we heard of buyers that planned to transfer $100K from an investment account into their bank account a couple days before closing, but when they went to do it, they found out there was a $10K per day limit. Oops.
- DO NOT accept wiring instructions that come to you in an email unless you're speaking to the title/escrow company on the phone at the same time and can verify that those instructions actually come from them. This is a real and legitimate concern that scammers are preying on house-buyers with false wiring instructions and "poof" your money is gone. Lots of money. Use the phone and speak in person to the title/escrow person.
- Important note about utilities . . . call the appropriate utility at least two days before recording and set up an account to get it transferred into your name.