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The Essential Paperwork for Your Home Closing

Young woman is signing financial contract with male realtor. Close-up.

On the day of your home closing, you’ll be reviewing and signing a lot of documents to finalize the transaction that will make the home yours. The essential real estate documents for your closing include:

  • The deed — This document formally transfers title from the seller to the buyer. The deed also records the form of ownership, e.g., individual, joint tenancy, tenancy by the entirety, tenancy in common, or in trust. The deed is a record of the home’s history of ownership; you must file the deed with the county to become part of the public record of the chain of title to your home.
  • Bill of sale — You may be purchasing a completely empty house, or taking a property “lock, stock and barrel.” Sellers frequently leave behind personal property, such as furnishings, because it is more economical to transfer it to a buyer than to transport it to a new home. The bill of sale memorializes this transaction and gives you title to the personalty the owner leaves behind.
  • Affidavit of title — The seller must present a sworn, notarized document attesting to ownership and describing any known defects in the title and encumbrances on the property.
  • Transfer tax declaration — The Commonwealth of Virginia charges three transfer taxes on the property and two recordation taxes on the mortgage. Typically, the buyer pays state and county deed transfer taxes. The seller pays the VA Grantor tax. When there is a mortgage, the buyer pays a recordation tax to the Commonwealth and the county.
  • Home loan documents — These include the note, providing evidence of your debt to the lender; the mortgage, your agreement to put up the property as collateral for the home loan; your loan application, which you must re-sign affirming your financial circumstances have not changed adversely since your first application; and the loan estimate and closing disclosure, which highlight important aspects of your transaction and provide notice as required by law.
  • Title insurance commitment — The title company or escrow company prepares this document, which must match the seller’s affidavit of title. If there are discrepancies, the terms of the sale are immediately in doubt.

Your home closing comes at a hectic time when you are preparing your family for a big move, so it would be very easy for you to miss important details that could profoundly impact the transaction. It’s important to have an experienced real estate attorney reviewing all your documents so that no mistakes are made.

Your home purchase is a huge investment. Protect it with reliable representation at your closing. Call Miller Law Group, P.C. today at 434-218-3987 or contact us online to make an appointment for a FREE consultation.