My husband and I just sat in an attorney’s office for our fifth closing. I find it to be a very personal and awkward experience. Through our closings, there are four things we have come to anticipate.
Buyers and Sellers Meet Face-to-Face
During most closings, buyers and sellers meet face-to-face. There are some home purchases and sales that are the exception, but most include both buyers and sellers sitting across from one another in an attorney’s office.
For four out of five of our closings, we met the buyers or sellers face-to-face. Thankfully, none of them were ugly, just awkward.
It is Not Over Until its Over
By the time buyers and sellers have made it to the closing table, a lot has occurred. Sellers have worked hard to keep a house clean for showings, inspections, appraisals and likely made repairs depending on the contract.
Buyers spend the contracted time completing due diligence through inspections, appraisals and other homework to ensure that a home purchase is the right purchase. Buyers who require financing to purchase a home must be approved by a lender. For some buyers, financing approval may be up until the last minute.
It may be easy to assume that the pressure is off by the time closing arrives, but it is not. The home purchase is not final until the last papers have signed. Closings have been known to fall apart at the last moment. Realtors often advise clients to keep quiet until everything is signed. One wrong remark, even an innocent one, could send buyers running.
In an era of protected health information and privacy laws, I find it very strange that it remains legal that buyers and sellers can see each other’s finances regarding the sale.
Sellers are made aware of how much a buyer is financing a home down to the last penny. Buyers are also aware of every dollar a seller makes on a home sale or loses on a home sale. I am sure there are legal reasons for both parties holding the knowledge, but it can make for an awkward situation.
The paperwork will feel never-ending on both sides, especially the buyers. The paperwork is a necessary evil to document numerous acknowledgments in the event of a lawsuit following the sale of the home or a fault in a mortgage.