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So, You’re Closing!

“…And now the day has come,”

You’re closing. As the title might have suggested and what might have sounded like the lyrics to one of Frank Sinatra’s more popular songs, this is just a good way to set the stage for what you have been working toward and what must have seemed like an eternity. In actuality, closings usually occur within 60 to 90 days from the date of the contract. I know, I know. Some of you might be in absolute disbelief at this time line. This is especailly true, if you have bought/sold in Florida. 

“They close in two weeks down there.” 

That’s not what happens here, so be forewarned. That being said, this is what you should expect on this most special day of days?
If you have closed on Real Estate in other parts of the country (or even downstate for that matter) the procedure will look and feel very differently than if you are closing anywhere in the 716 area code. One thing that might get your head to tilt to the side inquisitively, is that in virtually all cases the attorneys will look to close the transaction at the county clerk’s office. Now this may not be convenient for you and you can in fact “ask” to close in your attorney’s office or some other place that is more easily accessible for you (i.e. lenders office, etc.) but actually closing at the county clerk’s office can make a lot of sense for all parties concerned. You will find that this is almost always the attorney’s preference because after you close they can simply walk across the hall and file the documents immediately. There is no lag time. There is no opportunity for a third party to race in and file a lien against the property, so there is little to no margin for error if you elect to take their standard route and have them close your transaction “downtown.”

Something else you will see in our home town, is that, again, in almost all cases, the seller is a no show. Here in the land of “716”, they allow the seller’s to sign off on all the necessary documents beforehand and their attorney transfers the net proceeds to them after the fact. You might also note something that might seem out of the ordinary, and I must confess, this took me by surprise too. Having gotten used to doing business in NYC, closings were great big events with what seemed to be a cast of thousands and the agents were always in attendance. Here, quite to the contrary, the agents almost never are.  On the day of closing, it is the attorneys show and most will be delighted to NOTsee the agent there. At this point, after the final walkthrough, which occurs a day or two before, the agent’s work is over. 

So who then should you expect to be in attendance? You will see the seller’s attorney, the buyer and their attorney,and the banks attorney presuming there is mortgage financing in place. Anyone else is superfluous.  The typical, simple house, transaction should take little more than half an hour and it is nearly comical to see what seems to be a mountain of paperwork getting passed around which will require the appropriate initials and or signatures. Of course, you might not be laughing since the average number of required signatures is 42 at this point.  

The last thing that occurs is all the well wishing and the exchange of keys and finally the buyer gets to take that last sigh of relief. Congratualions are in order. You made it.  If you listen very carefully you might even get to hear your attorney sing the last line of old blue eyes song as he exhaustingly says, and “I did it my way.” .

About the Author: 

Brendan J. Cunningham (SFR®), (SRES®)
Associate Broker. The “Platinum Team”His first book, (He is currently working on his 5th) TRICKS OF THE TRADE: A REAL ESTATE BROKER’S INSIDE ADVICE INTO BUYING AND SELLING A HOME (Adams, Media Corporation, Avon Ma. 2004) is a must read for any savvy real estate investor.

Brendan is a member of:
National Association of Realtors
New York State Association of Realtors
And he is also a member of the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors….

….where he has been quite active as Director, Treasurer and Vice President. He has served on over 30 committees over the years. He is a member of their faculty and the author of “Selling Real Estate in Volatile Times.” He holds The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) and Short Sale and Foreclosure Specialist Designations (SFR®), and as the point person for the 716 Realty Group’s Platinum Team.

Brendan J. Cunningham

e. |  p. 716-818-2526

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