The Florida Closing Process
The closing process is complex, and has the potential to confuse people who have not experienced it before. We do everything possible to ensure a smooth, streamlined closing, with no surprises. We sit down with our client to go over closing costs estimates and a sample settlement statement, so our clients understand what is happening, before they come to the closing table. We always recommend having an attorney to represent you at closing. The attorney’s job is to make sure all the documentation is correct, that the client’s interests are the priority and protected. A reasonable attorney’s fee is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
The closing table is normally attended by both parties (Buyers & Sellers), their Realtors, and their attorneys. Sometimes both parties will have the same realtor, and occasionally the same attorney. The Sellers sign the Seller Documents, including Affidavits, Bill of Sale, Compliance Agreements, and the Deed. The Buyers sign the purchase documents, including Affidavits and the Mortgage and Note. Both parties sign the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, which takes the figures and shows all the costs, fees, payouts, mortgage payoffs (if any), prorations for taxes, assessments, et cetera, and shows the total costs for both parties.
The closing agent (the attorney processing the HUD-1) gives everyone copies of their documents; pays the Seller and sends out the other payments; and sends the Deed and other recordable documents to the County for recording in the public records.