Closing Preparations for Homebuyers

You have worked diligently and tirelessly towards finding a home, securing a mortgage, and negotiating the purchase price and terms with the seller. Closing is now the final step in your journey towards owning a home. While your closing attorney will handle most of the closing paperwork and activities, you will need to ensure a few things for a smooth closing: 

  • Mortgage: Stay in contact with your mortgage lender and your realtor as you go through the mortgage process. If there are changes to the sales contract, be sure to provide them to the mortgage lender and the closing attorney’s office at the earliest opportunity.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance Policy: Select a hazard/homeowner’s insurance company and provide proof of coverage to your closing attorney prior to the closing date. Your closing attorney will send you a Buyer Information Sheet that will need to be filled out and returned at the earliest opportunity.
  • Fund Transfer: Your Good Faith Estimate will give you a good idea of the amount you will need to bring to the closing. If your cash to close is more than $5,000.00, Georgia law requires that you wire the funds to your closing attorney’s account. Be sure to initiate your wire transfer with plenty of time to have your funds reach your closing attorney’s account prior to the closing. If your cash to close is less than $5,000.00, you may bring a personal, cashier’s, or certified check made payable to your closing attorney’s office.
  • Title Insurance: All mortgage lenders require Lender’s Title Insurance and your closing attorney may be able to help you secure it. Title Insurance is a small one-time charge for the protection of one of your largest investments as well as peace of mind. Title Insurance will protect the owner against any defects in title, which may not have been detected by the title exam. The average cost is between $500 and $1,000.
  • Surveys: Many mortgage lenders no longer require surveys for real property purchases here in Georgia, but many closing attorneys strongly recommend that you purchase a survey for your new home. Let the closing attorney know if you would like a survey to be ordered. The usual cost is between $400 and $600. 

If you will not be able to attend the closing, let your closing attorney know if you would like to set up a mail-away closing or if you would like to sign a Power of Attorney and have someone come to the closing to sign as your designated Attorney-in-Fact.  Also, if only one spouse is on the loan and you would like to add your spouse to the title, let your closing attorney know so he can prepare a deed for you to sign at the closing.  

At the closing, your closing attorney will arrange for your signing of numerous documents such as Promissory Note, Security Deed, Truth in Lending, and other lender documents. The seller will sign a deed transferring the title of the property to you.  

Congratulations, you are now officially a homeowner!