As a first-time Florida home buyer, this probably is one of the most exciting times of your life. Everything has gone remarkably well for you up to this point. Not only did the seller agree to your purchase offer, you found a mortgage company willing and able to lend you the money. Now the only thing left before you proudly take possession of your new home is your closing.
Since this is the first time you have bought a home in Florida, this mysterious closing may have you worried. Who will be there? What will happen? What must you do that day? Take a deep breath and stop worrying. Your real estate closing is simply the last step of the journey you began when you decided to buy a home.
Title company or attorney?
If you have not yet purchased title insurance, you need to do so prior to your closing. In Florida, you can engage either an attorney or a title company, but an attorney may serve your interests better. Why? Because most attorneys carry liability insurance whereas most title companies do not. In addition, the Florida Bar licenses and regulates attorneys while title companies have minimal licensing requirements and are subject to far less scrutiny. Finally, you will sign numerous legal documents at your closing. An attorney can better draft and analyze such documents so as to better protect your interests than a title company can.
In addition to signing all those documents on closing day, you can expect the following to happen as well:
- Your escrow agent receives a cashier’s check from you in the amount of your closing costs.
- (S)he also receives a check from your mortgage lender in the amount of your loan, assuming that (s)he has not already received it.
- (She) then gives the seller a check in whatever amount of the sale proceeds the seller is entitled to.
- Then comes the grand finale. The seller signs the warranty deed transferring legal ownership of the property over to you. (S)he will also give you a set of keys to your new home if (s)he has not already done this.
That’s it! You just bought your first Florida home. Congratulations!