The final stage of the transaction process occurs with the transfer of title from seller to buyer. After closing has occurred, the policy is sent to you by your title and escrow professional, the third party who transfers the money and documents (including title and deed) from the buying and selling parties. The escrow company prepares documents, draws up the closing statements, obtains necessary signatures, records documents, and receives and disburses funds.
At the closing appointment, you will review and sign final paperwork, and bring the balance of the funds required for the down payment. If either seller or buyer cannot attend, he or she can sign papers in advance, and/or grant power of attorney to a representative. The buyer will be asked at closing to sign the mortgage and any other papers that the lender, and/or other interested parties, may require. Upon conclusion of the closing process, the deed and mortgage will be recorded and all previous obligations of the seller will be discharged. Once the closing papers have been executed and the deed recorded, you can take legal ownership of your new home.
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Once you've been handed the keys to your new home on the agreed possession date, it's helpful to keep in mind that some practical and cosmetic matters need attention. Before you take possession of your new home, utilities will need to be changed to your name. And services such as electricity and phone may need to be reactivated. Also, check in with the nearest post office to assure proper mail forwarding. Consider hiring a cleaning service to thoroughly clean the home before you move in. And for security purposes, it may be prudent to change the locks and install a theft deterrent system.