The Closing Process in the State of Texas: A Complete Walkthrough

closing process in texas

 

The average price for a home in Texas is $279,900. And the housing market is doing well thanks to more people moving to Texas.

In 2016, 400,000 new people moved to Texas. The total population of Texas was expected to hit 28.3 million by July of 2017. 

All these people need places to live. And when they find their new home, they’ll want to know exactly what the closing process in Texas is to avoid unnecessary frustrations or delays.

For all those people looking to buy their dream home in Texas or sell their property, keep reading. We’re sharing with you everything you need to know about the closing process.

The Closing Process in Texas

While some home buyers think that after finding a house that has everything on their home buying checklist is the hard part, there’s more to do once you put an offer on a piece of property.

The closing process begins when the sales contract is signed by both the buyer and seller. Then it’s delivered to the closing agents, typically along with a deposit check.

Escrow and Title Order Begins

Escrow is then accepted by the escrow agent, which is usually done by written notation on the contract. Next, the escrow agent opens a title order. 

The house closing process has a lot of steps involved. It’s important to understand the terminology and what action you’re expected to take to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Common Terms Affiliated with the Closing Process

Here are the common terms and steps you’ll need to take during the closing process:

Appraisal

A home appraisal provides all parties with an accurate estimate of the fair market value of the home being sold. 

Contract

Always carefully review the terms of your contract before signing it. Once signed, completed, and executed, it will be delivered to the title company by the real estate agents. 

Earnest Money

Earnest money acts as a down payment to purchase the property. The amount is specified in the contract and deposited with the title company. 

In most cases, the earnest money becomes part of the purchase price. If the deal falls apart, typically the buyer gets the earnest money back in full. 

HOA Resale Certificate

If the property has a homeowners association (HOA), the resale certificate, as well as the rules and regulations documents, must be ordered and delivered to all parties. 

Information Exchange

This is where the title company, buyer, seller, and if applicable, mortgage company exchange any information necessary to complete the sale. 

Inspections

The buyer must hire a professional home inspector to ensure the property is in good condition. This must be done before the option period ends. 

Mortgage Company

If the buyer isn’t paying cash, they must secure a lender to obtain a mortgage. Only once their loan has been approved can the sale go through. 

Survey

The seller must supply a survey of the property. It must be approved by the title company. If no such survey exists, a new one must be done. 

Title Documents

The buyer and their lender will receive copies of the title commitment, tax certificate, property restrictions, and other pertinent documents to review. 

Title Search

A title company must be hired to do a search on property records. A title search determines from the public record what rights there are to the property and who owns them. 

It also looks for liens or unexpected issues that can mess up the transfer of the property to the buyer. While unusual, it’s still a smart idea to do a title search before buying the property.

The Next Steps

Once all issues/contingencies are addressed and approved by both parties, they are removed. The go-ahead to close the sale is then given by both the lender and the title company. 

Next, a time is set up to sign all closing documents for both the buyer and the seller. Before the signing, the buyer is allowed to schedule a final walk-through of the property to confirm they accept the property as-is.

New Deed Issued and Title Transferred

After all money and property have transferred to the appropriate parties, the deed is recorded and the records are filed in court records.

The title insurance policy with the new buyer is issued.

Items to Bring to a Closing

When your closing date arrives, there are certain items you’ll need to remember to bring with you. If you’re the buyer, you’ll need to bring money in the form of a certified or cashier’s check. 

You can also arrange to have your funds wired to the appropriate party. 

What Seller’s Should Bring on the Closing Date

If you’re the seller, you’ll need to bring along the following items:

  • Valid photo IDs (both spouses)
  • Keys to property
  • Garage door opener(s)
  • All receipts of repairs to the property

Also, you may need to bring a lease-back check payable to the buyer, if applicable. If the buyer is wiring their payment, you’ll need to provide them with the name of your bank, ABA number, name on the account, and account number. 

What to Expect at the Closing

Typically you’ll see the following people attending a closing:

  • Seller
  • Seller’s real estate agent
  • Buyer
  • Buyer’s real estate agent
  • Title company representative

If you got a mortgage, a representative from the bank or lending company may also show up. However, in Texas, the buyer and seller close at different times and therefore won’t run into one another. 

Get Your John Hancock Ready

You’ll end up signing your name a lot. There are a lot of legal documents to sign so be prepared. 

While any glitches would typically be taken care of three days prior to closing, do yourself a favor and allow a little extra time for the signing process to happen. 

Consider Selling Your House for Cash

The closing process in Texas takes a little time. And if you’re strapped for cash, you need money fast.

It’s worth considering selling your house for cash. Click here to Sell your home in Texas

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