Updated: May 22
Congratulations! You've made it to closing day, now what's next?
What to bring to the closing:
Identification Card (Non-expired State Driver's License/Identification Card) or Passport is best.
The second form of ID, just in case your first ID doesn't list your full name or the Patriot Act requires it, please bring a second ID such as a credit card, military ID, work ID, etc. It does not need to be a photo ID)
If your name has changed. It is helpful to bring a social security card or marriage license.
Bring photocopies of the identification, if not able, The Notary will take a picture.
Tax ID numbers (Social Security Number or EIN Number)
Bank information (Routing and Account #) or Voided Check
Even if you are wiring funds, you may need to fill out a form for refunds or proceeds. (If it's under a certain amount, the title company will send a check to your property address or to an address that you list.)
Pen of Choice
Often blue is used for closings.
*Check for Cash to Close
Some people wire funds other people bring a cashier's check or personal check. (Take a picture and confirm the notary puts the check in the courier envelope.)
Power of Attorney (If using a POA, most lenders require the original to be sent)
Trust documents (If using a Trust, there will be forms for you to fill out and very few people can remember all the details.)
*Witness or Spouse as determined by Title.
Location: To avoid mistakes; a private, quiet area with a table and chairs should be used.
*Only for some closings.
How to prepare:
1. Review the Closing Disclosure (The CD)!
You should receive an estimated disclosure at least 3 days before your closing so that you can review it.
Double-check the following on all documents:
A. All names and personal information: Make sure your full legal name is spelled correctly! If you go by Jim but your legal name is James if you use your middle name. This will slow things up if your name is not correct.
B. Property address: Make sure the property address is correct. This should include the apartment number if applicable.
C. Interest Rate: It’s always safe to double-check the rate!
D. Escrow: Are you putting taxes and homeowners insurance in escrow for your monthly payments? Sometimes this can change while refinancing.
E. Closing costs: Review the fees that are listed on the Closing Disclosure and Settlement Statement. If you have a question, it's easier to ask before rather than during as some settlement offices are in different time zones. There is an "Estimated" and a "Final" document that you should review.
D. Cash that is needed to close: You will either be receiving monies or sending monies. Again, this will be stated at the bottom of the Closing Disclosure (CD). If this amount changes by the time you reach closing, take a look at the taxes as usually that is 9 out of 10 the reason for this change.
2. Do you have the correct Identification? Some lenders require specific identification. The Notary may be asked to send a picture of the identification. If you don't want the notary to take a picture, have a photocopy of the ID ready during the time of closing.
3. Wire instructions: You may need to wire funds prior to closing. The Notary will usually provide you with instructions at the time of closing but it's a good idea to also get the information from Title before closing. Most title companies will request a cashier's check if you don't wire; if the funds are under $1,500 most title companies will accept a personal check.
4. Do you need a witness? Some states (FL, GA, CT, LA, SC) or lenders require a witness to be on the recorded documents. Confirm with your title company if a witness is needed. The Notary will not provide a second or third witness. This person should be over the age of 18, not be related to you, or have a vested interest in the transaction.
5. Does your spouse need to sign? Often, we get closings where one person is on the note but the spouse still needs to sign the Mortgage/Deed of Trust. This is normal but sometimes (more often than you would think) the title company forgets to tell the signer that their spouse is needed. If you have questions about this requirement, please address it with your settlement agent.
6. Attorney Representation: If you want an attorney to review the documents, you should do so before the closing. When The Notary comes to the table you should have already reviewed the documents and had your questions answered. Unless you have a Notice of Right to Cancel; you will not have enough time to have an attorney review the documents during the closing.
Some states require an attorney to be on the phone on a recorded line (CT and Georgia for example); The Notary Signing.
Who will conduct your closing:
The Notary: When doing a mobile closing, you will be assigned a mobile closer or notary public that specializes in notarizing real estate documents. This individual is often called a Notary Signing Agent (The Notary). This person is usually an independent company or contractor that is hired and paid by your title company.
You are welcome to request to see the notary's identification. The notary will provide a business card so that you can have their information for your records.
What is the process:
The Process: Prior to your closing, the loan officer will finalize your documents to be sent to Title/ Settlement Agent/ Escrow Company. Once Title has finished preparing the documents, they will email or physically send the documents to The Notary. In a perfect world, the final documents would be sent to The Notary the night before to print and review; but more often than not the documents will be received hours before closing.
Confirming Your Appointment: The Notary should call, text, or email you to confirm the appointment date, time, and location. Often, if you change a signing location you may need a new notary as the new location may be in another district and could cause a delay in closing. The Notary will do everything in their power to get to the appointment on time but please allow a 30-minute window before or after the scheduled time as most notaries will be coming from another closing. If The Notary does not receive your documents in a reasonable timeframe, you will need to be rescheduled that day. Please, try to keep a flexible schedule on the day of closing because about 1/2 of our closings usually need to be rescheduled to another time during the day. At least 1 out 10 closings need to be rescheduled to another day. This is completely out of The Notary's control and if you have questions or concerns on the status of documents; contact your Loan Officer or Settlement Agent (contact information is listed on the last page of the Closing Disclosure Form.) The Notary is often the only person you will see in person and we are part of your team. We're here to help you have a successful closing. Communication is key!
What to Expect:
Every closing package is a little different. Usually, there are 100 - 200 pages to sign. Your Notary is well versed in these documents and will show you where you need to sign. Please take note that The Notary is not a lawyer and will not give any legal advice.
The closing will usually take between 30-60 minutes, and it is best if you have a quiet/ private place to sign with a table and chairs. It's very uncomfortable to sign outside or in lobbies. For privacy reasons, public places should be avoided.
At the end of closing, you may or may not get a copy of the documents. Your title company should email or snail mail you a copy of the signed documents. The Agent that you meet with will not keep copies.
Documents will either be scanned (usually only for same day closings) and overnighted to Title or just overnighted to Title.
If there is a mistake, it's not the end of the world! We just re-sign a document or add an All-Purpose Acknowledgment. We're here to help identify you and get your documents signed, sealed, and delivered.
And that's it!
Get Courier Tracking Number
At the end of the closing please be sure to snap a picture of the tracking label. It will save you the headache of tracking down the documents.
FedEx and UPS are the usual carriers. Everyone asks me which I like better but it really depends. Each has their own pros and cons.
Fraud Prevention Pen
Certain pens are better for signing documents. The Notary Signing Agent should have blue and black pens for you to use but if you have a pen you would prefer that's fine. Most documents are signed in Blue Ink!
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