You’ve conducted an in-depth search for a home, found the right one, put in an offer, and it was accepted! You’ve made it quite far in the process, but the deal isn’t quite done yet. You still have to ensure that the home closes successfully in order for title to be transferred over and the keys to your new home are handed to you.

Usually, closing should happen without major hiccups. If both parties have done their due diligence and have adequately prepared for the real estate transaction, there’s no reason why the house shouldn’t close.

However, there are certain things that you should expect as a buyer, including the following:

Settlement Agent Will Handle Escrow

The closing process starts after both the buyer and seller agree to the terms of the contract and sign it. Timing is important to make sure all the components needed for a successful closing are in place. Usually, the settlement agent is a lawyer and/or title company who will handle the closing process. Whatever deposit amount you gave to the seller upon signing of the purchase agreement will be deposited into an escrow account where the money will be held until the time of closing.

Clauses Need to Be Met

Whatever clauses you inserted into the purchase agreement will need to be met or waived. These can include things such as financing, home inspections, title search, Status Certificate (if the home you’re buying is a condo), lawyer approval, and so forth. Each one of these clauses will be given an expiry date, which will tell you the amount of time that you have, to make sure these clauses are fulfilled. For instance, if your financing clause has a 10-day period before it expires, that means you’ve got 10 days to get a final approval from your mortgage broker. Closing will not happen until all clauses have been met or waived and signed off by both parties.

Title Search

You might assume that the seller is legally allowed to sell the home, or that there is nothing wrong with the title of the property before it is transferred over to you. But there may be times when there’s an issue with the title that needs to be resolved before the title can legally be given over to you. For instance, there may be liens placed on the title for bills that the seller has not yet paid, which need to be settled before the title can be transferred. Having the opportunity to search the title can help you avoid any delays or unpleasant surprises.

Day of Closing

On the day of closing, or even a couple of days before, you will need to meet with your lawyer to sign all the documents (of which there are many) to finalize the deal. Be prepared to sign many papers, including the deed of transfer, mortgage papers, land transfer tax statement, statement of adjustments, and so forth. Your lawyer will review all these documents with you so that you know what you are signing.

When it comes to buying real estate, you absolutely need to have a seasoned expert by your side to ensure that the process goes smoothly. A real estate agent will be able to help you find the right home for you, negotiate on your behalf to get you the best price, and help you navigate all the potentially complex paperwork needed to seal the deal.