Closing is a the day that everything culminates. The closing attorney, buyer, and seller all come together to finalize the sale. On this day the deed of the property actually changes hands. Here is what you can expect:

The closer: In North Carolina we are an attorney state and they typically preform the physical act of the real estate closing. A title company preforms a real estate closing in many other states. While, a title company can also do them in NC, in our experience it is always best to use an attorney.

The HUD-1: On the day of closing buyer and seller sign the HUD-1 closing statement, often referred to as “the HUD.” The HUD is a line item break down of all expenses from both the seller and the buyer. It shows invoices for inspections that need to be paid, the seller’s payoff information, prorated taxes, insurance costs, commissions, attorney fees, and more.

The Parties: The buyer is almost always at the closing table with the exception of a cash purchase. If the buyers are paying cash and do not wish to attend closing they can sign a copy of the HUD-1 and it can be faxed or emailed to the closing attorney. Otherwise, the buyer must always be at the closing in order to sign all of the loan documents. In some cases the loan officer may also show up at closing, otherwise, the closing attorney goes over all of the buyer’s loan documents. The buyer’s real estate agent is usually present. The sellers of the home may or may not come. They can do their part through the mail or at an earlier time. If the buyer has a spouse they will often need to be at closing also even if they are not on the loan.

What to bring: Buyers need to bring a copy of their driver’s license and if they are bringing money to the closing it needs to be wired to the attorney’s account. In some cases they will accept a certified bank check but most are requiring a wire transfer. Likewise, if the buyer is married the spouse will need to come to the closing even if they are not on the loan. The earnest money should also be brought to the closing but this is the charge of the listing agent.

Once all parties have signed the HUD-1 closing statement and the new deed is recorded at the Register of Deeds in the county that the property is located, the sale is complete. Keys can be given to the buyer and monies distributed to their respective parties. Keep in mind that in NC “closing constitutes acceptance.” Translated that means that once you have closed on the home you have it as-is and you cannot go back to the sellers for anything. The only acceptation would be if the seller was willingly deceitful about something in which case you can seek legal council, but keep in mind closing constitutes acceptance of the home and property. This is another reason why a final walk through prior to closing is a good practice.