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What's the process for closing on a home?

When you're ready to purchase a home, you should understand the homebuying and closing process. This process is similar in most states in that your attorney, an escrow agent or another person representing a title company prepares the closing documents and assists throughout the purchasing arrangements. It's traditional for a buyer and seller to be present at the same time when closing a home purchase. Additionally, because of the environment in Florida, there may be special inspections that have to be performed before a closing is permitted. For example, you may be asked to get a termite or roach inspection.

When the process for purchasing a home begins, you'll receive a notice that the seller accepted your offer. At that point, you pay a deposit to an escrow agent. Once this money is held, the contract moves on to a closing attorney who can help prepare the documents needed to transfer the home's title into your name.

Once this is complete, you may need to perform inspections on the property. Some popular inspections include drywall inspections and termite inspections.

Once those have been completed, you have a few options. If there are problems with the home, you can ask the seller to adjust the price of the home to allow you the cash to repair them, you can ask the homeowner to repair the problems or you may ask for closing cost credits. The seller may choose to lower the home's price, fix the issues or issue credits; the seller may also offer other options to a buyer depending on the situation. Your attorney can help you determine if those offers are worth purchasing the home.

Source: Amitree, "Florida Homebuying and Closing Process," accessed March 24, 2017

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