Benefits to viewing closing documents in advance

Closing on a purchase can already be an emotional and exhausting event. The last thing anybody wants to do is have to rummage through a stack 60 to 80 pages at closing to decipher what is taking place.

How can a homebuyer be better prepared to make it through the closing package? At Federal Title & Escrow Company, the typical purchase closing takes no more than an hour, with the typical refinance closing taking less than 45 minutes. Closing is not the correct time to read every document.

Now I know that an all-knowing uncle or a law school professor told you to never sign anything without reading it first, and I am not in any way suggesting that you should not know what you are signing, but just that closing is not the right time to start the reading process.

I have two suggestions for being better prepared so that the closing will go smoothly.

1) View closing documents in advance on our website where you can find a generic set of closing documents for your review. All lenders use similar versions of these documents.

2) Call or email our office in advance and let us know that you wish to review the closing package in advance. Please let your loan office know that this is an important aspect of your closing. Our experience is that if you stress to the loan officer that you wish to review the documents in advance, the lender will typically send us the closing papers a day in advance, and we can in turn scan them and email them to you for your review.

At closing, a settlement attorney will go over the paperwork and provide brief explanations of the documents and point out all of the key points.

Feel free at this time to ask questions or ask for clarifications if anything is unclear. Ideally, by having reviewed the documents in advance and having an experienced settlement attorney conduct the closing, the signing will pass quickly and you can move to the next step – enjoying your new home.

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