Closing is the final step in the home-buying process. It involves signing all the documents that formalize the transfer of the property’s title from the previous owner to you. In many cases, this is the easiest step in the real estate transaction. However, last-minute complications can arise. 

If you have never gone through real estate closing before, you may have questions about it. Knowing generally what to expect can help you better prepare. 

Where will the closing take place? 

Real estate closings usually take place in an office building around a conference table. If you have a spouse or another co-signer, you can expedite the process slightly by sitting next to one another rather than across from one another. This makes it easier to pass papers. 

Who will be present at closing? 

In addition to you and your real estate agent, people present at your closing will likely include a title closer, an attorney and a representative for your mortgage lender. The property sellers may also be present, although this is not always necessary. 

What do you need to bring? 

The two most important things you need to bring to your closing are personal identification (e.g., a driver’s license) and money to cover your share of any closing costs that may exist. For this, you will have to obtain a cashier’s check; personal checks are not acceptable. 

Is there anything that you should avoid before closing? 

Yes. Your lender may do a last-minute credit check prior to closing. Therefore, you should avoid making any large purchases just beforehand. Otherwise, it could have a negative impact on your credit, and your lender could cancel your mortgage. If this happens, you will have no way to fund your purchase, and the deal could fall through. 

There is plenty to celebrate at a real estate closing. However, do not become complacent, and do not start the celebration early. Prepare yourself for the possibility of last-minute complications that, at the very least, could delay the process.