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August 13, 2012

The Anatomy of a Real Estate Purchase

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Final walk-through

A day or so before closing, you'll want to walk back through the property to make sure it's in the condition it was when you last saw it. You want to be certain that the seller didn't remove any fixtures, make modifications or leave behind garbage or debris. You also want to make sure any fixes you negotiated with the seller were indeed completed.

The closing

Depending on the market, the closing may happen at an attorney's office or with an escrow officer at a title company. In some jurisdictions, the buyer and seller don't ever meet. Each goes in to sign their closing papers separately, and the property closes in the background. In others, the buyers and sellers sign the closing documents together.

Regardless of how a closing happens, if you're a buyer and getting a loan, plan on signing dozens of documents at closing. You'll have to show up to the closing with a photo ID, as your signature will be notarized. Prior to the closing, your real estate agent, attorney or escrow officer should send over a closing statement to review. This will spell out your final closing numbers and what money you need to bring to closing. The funds can be wired in or paid with a cashier's check on closing day. Be sure to ask for the statement early, so there aren't any last-minute surprises.

Related:

Brendon DeSimone is a Realtor & HGTV real estate expert. He has collaborated on multiple real estate books and his expert advice is regularly sought out by print, online and television media outlets like FOX News, CNBC and Forbes. An avid investor, Brendon owns real estate around the US and abroad and is licensed to sell in two states. You can find Brendon online or follow him on Twitter.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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