In Lake County, and Northern Illinois in general, it is customary for the seller's attorney to order and prepare title insurance for both the buyer and seller involved in the transaction as the title company will ultimately be responsible for insuring clear title is being conveyed from the seller to the buyer. Depending on which title company the seller's attorney is affiliated with, the closing will usually take place at a title company location near where the property being purchased is situated.
Who Will Be at the Closing?
The seller's attorney will be there along with you and your attorney. The seller may be there but it is not necessary that they be in attendance as they can pre-sign any documentation that requires their signature. Also in attendance are the real estate agents, if any. The agents are there to assist with any last minute walk through issues and deliver the keys to the buyer. The most important person at the closing is the title company representative or "closer" who helps facilitate the transaction. The closer is the person who, among other things, handles all the loan documentation sent by the buyer's lender, makes certain that all required lender documents are signed, ensures real estate taxes and applicable transfer taxes are paid and prepares the HUD-1 or closing statement which outlines the closing cost charges to both the buyer and seller. An experienced and organized closer can help make the transaction go smoothly, saving both parties time and money.
What Documents Will I Need to Sign?
The first set of documents you will need to sign will be your loan package. The 2 most important documents you sign here will be: (a) the note, which is the document that sets forth the terms of your loan, and is simply the document that acts as your written promise to repay the loan amount; and (b) the mortgage, which is the document that helps secure your promise to repay the amount evidenced by the note. Through the mortgage, you are pledging your new home as collateral to the bank until the loan is paid off. Once all the loan documents are signed, the seller's attorney will have a smaller stack of documents to sign such as disclosures as to title insurance charges and transfer tax declarations. Again, your attorney will review this documentation with you and should ensure everything is in order. If you have any questions about any of the documents you are signing or feel something may be in error, do not hesitate to speak up and ask your attorney for clarification.
How Long Will the Closing Take?
The time it takes to complete the closing depends on a host of factors ranging from whether the closing documents were ready for signature at the start of the closing to whether there were final walk-through issues that arose that must be resolved between the buyer and seller. The most important factor however is whether the lender's wire was sent and received by the title company in a timely fashion. A lender will usually wire the buyer's loan amount to the closing in lieu of sending a certified check with the loan documents. Valuable time can be lost sitting around the closing table waiting for the wire to hit the title company's account after all the closing documents have been signed. Without the wire, the seller cannot be paid the purchase price amount and the closing cannot be completed. Assuming there is a lender involved and the parties are not waiting on the lender's wire, a typical residential real estate closing should take between 1 1/2 and 2 hours.
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