The Key Steps to a Successful Real Estate Closing

The Key Steps to a Successful Real Estate Closing

Whether buying or selling a home, a successful real estate closing requires you to be on your toes before and on the final day. You may be excited to sign the documents, but things can still go wrong at this point. Preparation, however, can prevent obstacles from arriving.

On the closing day, you’ll meet with a closing agent. If you’re buying or selling for the first time, these steps to a successful real estate closing can help:

The Top Tips for a Successful Real Estate Closing

Be Prepared in Advance

You should start preparing for closing day far in advance:

After the Purchase Contract Has Been Accepted:

  • Request a home inspection and consider specialist inspections such as sewer inspections.
  • Send a copy of the contract to your lawyer.
  • Discuss interest rate locking options with your lender.

Preparation During Home Inspection

  • Take and safely store photos of the property.
  • Measure the property to aid with furniture, repairs and appliances.
  • Be bold and ask the inspector any questions that may educate you on the property.

After the Acceptance Date of the Final Contract

  • Review the home inspection report.
  • Create a list of items the seller needs to address (ask your agent for assistance).
  • Book movers or a moving truck.
  • Ask your lender to order an appraisal if they haven’t already.

Two Weeks in Advance of Closing Day

  • Choose an insurance company.
  • Determine how much coverage you need in your home owner’s insurance policy.
  • Obtain your loan status (with your lender) and confirm you have completed all the necessary steps to obtain it.
  • Get your mail forwarded to the new property through the U.S. Postal Service online.

One Week in Advance of Closing:

  • Prepare your utilities for the new property, such as cable, internet, water, power, trash, and other subscriptions.
  • Confirm the closing date with your lender.
  • Request certified funds for closing.
  • Confirm with your lender that they have all the necessary documents.

3-4 Days Before Closing

  • Confirm repairs have been completed.
  • Ask for documentation that proves the repairs have been completed.
  • Review the Closing Disclosure sent to you and make sure you understand the instructions and figures. Contact your lender and/or real estate lawyer if you have any doubts.

The Day Before Closing

  • Perform a final walkthrough of your home, ensuring it’s in the expected conditions.
  • Plan your closing day, so you don’t waste time getting lost during travel or turning up later.

How to Prepare as a Seller

Similarly, as a seller, you have a responsibility to prepare in advance:

After the Acceptance of a Purchase Contract

  • Send your current mortgage info to your agent (including contact information, your lender’s contact info and account numbers).
  • Make the repairs as required in the purchase contract.
  • Perform any terms required in the contract, such as clearance letters.

Home Inspections

  • Your agent can be present, but you shouldn’t.
  • Give keys and access codes for access.
  • Turn on all utilities.

After the Final Contract Has Been Accepted

  • Negotiate repair requests with the buyer.
  • Start the repairs.
  • Organize a moving truck or moving service.

Two Weeks in Advance of Closing

  • Request a change of address to have your mail forwarded to your new address with the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Gather information about your home, such as receipts, manuals, repair information, dates of service and warranties).
  • Pack to leave the property.

The Final Week Before Closing

  • Schedule the final utility readings and disconnection dates.
  • Collect documents that prove repairs have been completed.
  • Request the required certified funds for closing.
  • Either clean the property yourself or schedule a cleaning service.

One Day Before Closing

  • Plan your closing day, so you don’t waste time getting lost during travel or turning up later.
  • Ensure the home is clear of any personal belongings.

Bring Everything You Need for Closing Day

Once the closing day is here, a big mistake is to forget to bring the essential items and documents to the meeting. You don’t want to lose time here or risk the purchase collapsing, so make sure you follow this checklist:


  • Identification Documents
  • Certified funds or proof of wire transfer
  • Proof of homeowner’s insurance
  • A copy of your contract
  • Any other documents that the lender has requested.


  • Identification Documents
  • Certified funds or proof of wire transfer (If required)
  • Keys (Including house keys, gate keys, mailbox keys, window keys, storage keys, pool keys and garage remotes)
  • A copy of your contract

What ID Documents Do I Need?

In most real estate closings, it’s the first time a buyer or seller meets with the closing agent. If that is the case, you’ll need to verify your identity.

This should be a government-issued ID, such as a:

  • Driver’s license
  • Military ID
  • State-issued ID
  • Passport

If you’re purchasing a property with your spouse but have a different last name, remember to bring your marriage license to avoid any obstacles.

Finally, check that the ID you bring hasn’t expired!

If you’re buying alone but have a co-signer on the loan, they will also need to be present at closing with their valid ID.

What Certified Funds Are Required?

If you’re a buyer, you’ll be sent a ‘Closing Disclosure’ three days before closing.

Closing Disclosures list all the details about your mortgage, including mortgage amounts, monthly payments, interest rates and the required certified funds to bring to closing.

These funds will cover the down payment and closing costs. You cannot pay by cash or with a personal check.

The Closing Disclosure will instruct you on whether to bring a cashier’s check or a certified check. You may also be informed on how to send wire funds. If so, contact your title company and only use a number from the title company website. Never use a phone number or website listed within the email to avoid being a victim of online fraud.

Finally, if a donor is helping with the down payment or expenses, you must provide a letter from the donor stating the funds are being sent as a gift and not a loan. You should ideally have already prepared this with your loan expert earlier on.

If you’re a seller, you will have to pay closing costs which will most likely be deducted from your closing proceeds. If not, you should bring a cashier’s check or proof of wire transfer.

Other Advice for a Successful Real Estate Closing

Open an Escrow Account

Third parties hold escrow accounts. They prevent both the buyer and seller from being cheated. They will hold all the funds and documents related to the real estate purchase until everything has been agreed.

Obtain Title Search and Insurance

Title searches and title insurance will protect you from other people claiming ownership of the property when you buy it.

It protects you from loss or damage should liens, encumbrances or title defects arise.

Hire an Attorney

In Florida, you are not legally obliged to work with a Florida real estate lawyer but it is highly recommended.

Closing documents are highly complicated and can be difficult to understand. One mistake here could see you face losses, be liable and have a highly unpleasant experience.

Experienced real estate lawyers can work on your behalf to provide expert advice and ensure every document is watertight and in your best interests.

Contact a Commercial Real Estate Attorney in Florida

If you’re buying a property for your business, our Florida real estate attorneys can help you follow the steps to a successful real estate closing.

We’ll also protect your rights and interests, ensuring you’re set up for a thriving future at your new location.

Free Consultations

If you’re purchasing property or land in St Petersburg, Florida or Riverview, Florida, contact us today. Our St Petersburg & Riverview real estate attorneys have extensive experience that can help you through these tricky moments, reviewing your contract, advising you on the next steps to secure your transaction, and successfully finalizing the purchase of your new commercial property.

By |2022-07-14T14:03:14-04:00July 5th, 2022|Real Estate Closings|0 Comments