What Are the Steps in the Closing Process?

Knowing what to expect as you embark upon buying a new home can help ensure you are fully prepared when it is time to close. On average, it takes approximately 30 – 45 days to complete the settlement process, from start to finish. Here is a general overview of the main steps involved when buying and closing on a home.

Loan Pre-Approval

The first step in the home buying and closing process is to have a home loan pre-approved by a reputable mortgage lender. Ensuring the submission of the necessary documents and information required for loan approval in a timely manner is crucial to keeping the closing timeline on track and as short as possible.

Contract Ratification

Once the terms of the sale have been agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller and the real estate contract has been signed, it is considered to be “ratified.” It serves as a legally binding agreement and will typically include pertinent information, such as the purchase price and estimated closing date.

Title Search

Following contract ratification, a title search will be conducted by a title agent. A title search is a thorough investigation of the ownership history of the property and is performed to identify any title defects. A title defect is a legal circumstance that prevents the proper transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. Title defects must be resolved in order for the real estate sale to take place.

Clear to Close

A “clear to close” status indicates that the lender has fully approved the home loan and that all necessary conditions and documentation requirements for the transaction have been met. At this stage, a closing date and time will be confirmed by the title company conducting the settlement.

Closing Day

Closing day is the final step in the real estate transaction. Buyers and sellers each have their own separate closings, during which the final loan documents and other relevant paperwork are signed and notarized. Once closing is complete, the buyer is legally the new owner of the property.

If you are seeking a title company in Virginia Beach, VA, we invite you to contact Linear Title and Escrow. Our seasoned team can help you understand the steps involved in the closing process and enjoy the best possible settlement experience.