Finding the perfect home in the Lake Charles/ SWLA real estate market can be sort of a journey.
There’s a whole lot of moving parts here so we at Ironclad Title recommend using a local real estate agent and local mortgage lender so we can all work as a team to facilitate a smooth home closing. You’ve finally found a home you love, worked with one of our SWLA Real Estate agents to make an offer, and it’s been accepted.
Now it’s time to close on your future house.
The closing process can be a bit intimidating even for a seasoned homebuyer, but fear not, our Ironclad Title home closing team has your back! In this article, we will break down the home closing process. Sit back and relax, Ironclad Title is handling your real estate closing!
1. Select a Closing Agent
Pick a closing agent, any closing agent! As the buyer in the transaction, where you close is 100% up to you! Here at Ironclad Title we have three residential real estate closers and one commercial closing specialist to make sure that your real estate closing is smooth. If you are working with a real estate agent they might offer to place a title order with a closing agent as soon as your sales contract is accepted. Remember, it is your choice, so choose Ironclad Title!
Helpful Hint: Most people rely on their local real estate agent or local mortgage lender when choosing a title company. The upside to working with Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana real estate professionals is they have the inside knowledge of the business and know which title companies in the area are reliable, reputable, efficient, and professional. Think of it as the inside scoop you definitely want to pay attention too. Not all title companies are created equal. Choosing local professionals to handle your closing can make or break the deal.
Why is the closing agent in the transaction important? What does the closer actually do? Well that’s a bit of a loaded question and we won’t bog you down with the specifics. Basically the closer will oversee and facilitate the home closing process and make sure the timing is right for all of the moving parts that make up the home closing process. The closer is like your own personal juggler or circus ring master, it is their job to make sure there are no unnecessary delays or glitches in your real estate closing.
2. Draw up an Escrow Agreement
First, a contract or escrow agreement is drafted, which the closing agent reviews for completeness and accuracy. The agent will also put your deposit into an escrow account, where the funds will remain until closing. Basically we collect all the monies!
Escrow? Excuse me a what? Breathe 😯 we Googled the word for you please see the below Webster’s definition of Escrow … 🙂
“A contractual arrangement in which a third party receives and disburses money or documents for the primary transacting parties, with the disbursement dependent on conditions agreed to by the transacting parties.”
3. Title Search is Conducted
Once the order is placed our home closing Ironclad Title team will do a search of the public records. This is to identify any issues with the title such as liens against the property, utility easements and so on. Ironclad Title has 2 full-time abstractors that will go down to our Lake Charles courthouse to search the property.
4. Title Exam
Once the search is turned in from Ironclad’s abstractors we will then give it over to one of our six in house real estate attorneys for the exam. This is when the real estate attorneys will make sure that all judgments or leans against the property are satisfied, and the person selling the house to you actually owns it.
Helpful Hint: Make sure your real estate closing attorney is local and in house. Attorneys are busy by nature, and you shouldn’t risk your home ownership on the opinion of one who runs in to town to handle a bunch of other stuff, and just “sprinkles some Holy Water” on the title to your new home. Let’s take our time meet the attorney, understand what papers are being signed and be sure you own what you’re buying.
So you mean to tell me I need more insurance? Yes; and we aren’t joking either.
The closing agent will send you an email with a few attachments to notify you that in deed (title lingo joke get it) you’re eligible to opt in for title insurance. Unlike other insurance policies, title insurance is purchased with only ONE PAYMENT. Those attachments are worth at least a skim.
There are two kinds of title insurance coverage: a Lender’s policy, which covers the lender for the amount of the mortgage loan; and an Owner’s policy, which covers the homebuyer for the value of the home.
If you are obtaining a loan, the bank or lender will typically require that you purchase a Lender’s policy. However, it only protects the lender.
Helpful Hint: If it’s good enough for the lender to require title insurance it’s good enough for you as the buyer to require Owner’s title insurance for yourself. Make your money work for you -Protect your property rights. Also, you are entitled to a reduced premium if you are purchasing both policies at the same time.
6. Step Four – The Closing
Once all of the title materials have been verified and closing documents have been prepared and approved, Ironclad Title’s staff will arrange a mutually agreeable closing time for you to visit our office.
Our well-trained closing staff, which consists of a Notary Public, an assistant, and a post-closing specialist will assist in signing all necessary documents. All of our closing teams work closely with one or more of our 6 full-time, in-house, title attorneys.
One of Ironclad Title’s attorneys will be available in the event any questions arise during your closing. If an attorney is not in the room at the time of your closing, and you would like one to join, simply ask the staff and we will be happy to facilitate.
Helpful Hint: If you choose to work with a local Lake Charles/SWLA real estate agent and local Lake Charles/SWLA mortgage lender they typically attend the closing as well. This is the best time to have the team of professionals all in one room to make sure we all have your back! #PartyInTheClosingRoom
7. Post Closing aka Money, Money, Money
After all documents are signed and filed in the applicable Parish courthouse, Ironclad Title’s excellent post-closing specialists will put together copies of all signed and recorded documents, as well as other bits of useful information about the process. It’s time to collect keys, proceeds if there are any and get to moving into your new home.
You will receive a letter from our office, which includes this package of information shortly after the closing. If the property you have purchased is going to serve as your primary residence, we will remind you to file for Homestead Exemption at the local tax assessor’s office.
From this point, all you have left to do is sit back and enjoy your home! That wasn’t so bad was it?! If you have any real estate questions pass them our way by calling 337- 433- 0234 or emailing us on the info link on the website at firstname.lastname@example.org! Until next time, #YouDeserveAGoodDeed