A closing is a meeting at which a buyer gives a seller money in exchange for the deed (for condos) or the proprietary lease (for co-ops). Most closings occur 60 to 90 days after the contract is signed.
Where Will the Closing Be?
Your closing may be held at your broker’s office, an attorney’s office, an escrow company’s office, your lender’s office or another agreed upon location. Details regarding the date, time and location of the closing are generally coordinated by the agents or brokers involved in the sales transaction.
Who Will Be at the Closing?
Generally, the buyer, seller and their attorneys attend the closing; real estate agents or brokers are frequent attendees and it’s not uncommon for a representative of the title company to show up.
If you’re the seller, you may opt to pre-sign documents and have your attorney attend the closing on your behalf. The buyer has to sign all of the bank documents at the closing and usually has to do this in person.
What Happens at Closing?
The closing is a time for the buyer to review and sign loan documents – lots of them. This is when buyers must make sure they understand the terms to which they are agreeing. If terms differ from what you originally agreed to, you’ll need to resolve the issue before signing. Your attorney should review each document and give clearance for signing.
What Should You Bring to Closing?
Your attorney, mortgage loan officer and title company representative will tell you precisely what you need to bring. The requirements will differ slightly based on your loan type and whether you’re the buyer or seller. In general, buyers and sellers should bring along a government-issued ID card, such as a driver’s license or passport.
If you’re the buyer, you will also need to bring along a certified check or arrange for a wire transfer for the down payment and closing costs made out to the title or closing company.
If you’re the seller, you’ll likely be asked to bring copies of all keys or codes for keyless entry, and a certified or cashier’s check made payable to the title or closing company, if these costs are not being deducted from the sales price.
What Will Your Closing Costs Be?
In general, if you’re buying either a condo or co-op, you’ll need to pay attorney fees ($1,800+), mortgage fees ($500-$1,000), mortgage bank attorney costs ($400+), short-term interest (depends on loan amount) and a move-in deposit ($250-$1,000). (See a hypothetical list of costs for a condo vs. co-op). But, good news: You will no longer be asked to “tip the title closer.”
Additionally, if you’re buying a condo, you can expect to pay tax escrow (two to six months), recording fees ($200-$300), mortgage tax (depends on loan amount), fee title insurance (approximately $450 per $100,000), mortgage title insurance (about $200 per $100,000), municipal search ($300+), managing agent fee ($250 – $500), real estate tax adjustment (one to six months), and common charge adjustment (pro-rated for month of closing).
If you’re purchasing a co-op, your closing fees will instead include a UCC-1 filing charge ($50), recognition agreement fee ($200), and a maintenance fee (pro-rated for month of closing).
If you’re paying more than $1 million for your condo or co-op, you’ll also be assessed a mansion tax (1 percent of purchase price). If you’re buying in a new development or directly from sponsor, you may also need to pay New York state and city tax on the transfer of property.
Lenders must give borrowers an estimate of their closing costs within three business days after receiving a loan application. That document, called the Good Faith Estimate, lists various mortgage fees and third-party expenses. Banks are liable for the difference if they grossly underestimate the costs that consumers can expect to pay.
How Long Will Closing Take?
This isn’t something you can do over your lunch break. Most closings take two to three hours. Yours could be shorter – or it could last even longer. Once everything has been signed, all the necessary documents will be filed, and the deed and mortgage will be recorded.
To ensure your closing goes smoothly, talk to your agent or broker ahead of time so you know who will be at your closing and what’s going to happen there.