Closing Documents

What are Closing Documents?

Closing documents are the paperwork you’ll need to complete to purchase the home after your offer has been accepted. And while they may seem daunting, don’t worry—most of these are provided to you by the seller and/or lender (if you’re financing), and the entire process is managed by the title and escrow agent.

Which documents do I need?

Below are the ten most common closing documents:

  1. Loan Estimate (provided by your lender): this is your initial estimate of your closing costs, interest rate, and loan terms from your lender.
  2. Proof of Homeowners Insurance (provided by you): which the lender requires to protect their investment in the home. You should obtain this from your insurance company a few days before closing.
  3. Closing Disclosure (provided by your lender) : this outlines the terms of your loan. Your lender is legally obligated to send you a copy at least three days before closing, so you have time to review it thoroughly. And, make sure it lines up with your Loan Estimate.
  4. Mortgage Note (provided by your lender): which legally obligates you to repay the loan. It includes the loan amount, interest, payment dates, terms, and information on failure to make payments.
  5. Deed of Trust or Security Instrument (provided by your lender): that collateralizes your property for the mortgage.
  6. Initial Escrow Statement (provided by your lender): outlines the taxes and insurance payments to be paid from your escrow account during the first year of your mortgage.
  7. Transfer of Tax Declarations (provided by the city’s Assessors Office per request):  discloses your home’s sale price and owed sales tax to the state.
  8. Certificate of Occupancy (provided by the builder): which you’re required to sign before moving into a newly constructed home. With it, you’re stating that the home is safe and structurally sound.
  9. Title Insurance Commitment (provided by the seller): specifies the homeowner and any problems with the title. 
  10. Deed (provided by the seller): transfers the title from the seller to the buyer and is signed by the seller. With it, the transaction is recorded by the county office.

How to Make Navigating Closing Documents Easier

This process may seem daunting at first—sure. But it’s really not so bad—especially if you go into closing knowing what to expect and are supported by the right title company and lender. 

So, do your research ahead of time. You’ll want to understand each of the closing documents as you review and sign them. And, research lenders and title companies to choose the right ones—because they’ll be there to guide you through the whole process.