What Happens During the Closing Process?


If you are in the market to purchase a home, once you have submitted an offer and it has been accepted, a lot can happen pretty quickly, especially when you’re looking to move to an area that has a hot market. Currently, many areas in North Carolina including the Triangle are seller’s markets. Many buyers are competing for the same homes so houses are selling quickly and often at prices well above what they were originally listed for.


When you have found the right house for you and your offer has been accepted, you are now in escrow. The closing process begins once you have a signed the offer to purchase and contract.


During the closing process, most likely order surveys, appraisals, and inspections on the property during your due diligence period as well as continuing to work with your lender to meet all the requirements for your loan.


You’ll also work with a real estate attorney to get ready for your settlement date. If you are the buyer, you are able to choose the real estate attorney that you want to use to represent you during the closing process. Often, lenders will require that the buyer choose an attorney that is on their approved closing attorney list in order to move forward with the closing process. If you know that you want to work with a specific real estate attorney for your closing, it is important to disclose this to your agent and lender early on in the process to see if there are additional steps that need to be taken by the attorney prior to entering the escrow period.


Once you decide on a closing attorney that you would like to work with, the attorney will review the offer to purchase and contract, get in touch with you and your lender to get important information about you and the loan requirements. The attorney will then begin their title search. The title search will confirm whether the seller actually owns the property and will reveal whether there is anything in the property’s history that would block you from owning the property free and clear from any encumbrances. A title search will reveal whether there are any recorded easements affecting the property.


The attorney will also be looking for liens, judgements, or debts against the seller or anything that might attach to the property and might inhibit your ability to obtain clear title of the property at the closing table. If there are any liens or judgements, those will need to be satisfied before closing. If the attorney finds anything that might affect your ability to receive clear title, the attorney will let you and your agent know so these issues are taken care of before closing.


The day of closing, the attorney will walk you through all of the paperwork that the lender and the attorney have prepared for you to sign. This includes a plat of the property to make sure that you are actually buying the property that you are intending to buy, the title work report, affidavits and affirmations for you and the seller, the deed, the promissory note, the deed of trust, the loan application and other loan documents, and contact information for you and everyone involved in the closing process.


After the closing, the attorney will record the new deed and deed of trust paperwork with the county so that you are able to move into your new house. The attorney will then conduct a new title search to make sure that the deed was recorded properly and that the previous mortgage was cancelled as of record.


If you are in the process of buying a home, the team at Smith Dominguez, PLLC would love to work with you during your closing process. Reach out to us at closings@smithdominguez.com if you have any questions or would like to submit your contract for us to review.


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Ayeshinaye and Alexia are licensed to practice law in the State of North Carolina. This website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as formal legal advice. Contacting or providing information to Smith Dominguez PLLC through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Smith Dominguez PLLC. Please do not submit any confidential information to our office through this website or social media. 

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