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What do you need to do at a property closing?

It's your first time closing on a new piece of real estate property, and you don't want to make any mistakes. What are you supposed to do at closing and what should you expect?

First of all, you'll need to sign a fair amount of paperwork. If you're using a loan to buy the property, you need to review all of the terms one last time before putting your signature on it.

If you needed to have an inspection done, this is also the time to provide proof that the building passed the inspection. If you had to get insurance -- required by most lenders -- then you have to provide proof of that policy, as well.

You may need to pay the down payment at this point to get the loan. Bring a cashier's check or a certified check to do so. You may also need to pay any taxes, prepaid interest, closing costs and insurance premiums. You're just getting everything set up financially to move the property into your name.

If you are using a loan, the lender has to pay the agent in charge of the closing, which also happens at this time. You then pay the lender back in the agreed-upon installments.

Finally, you may also need to establish an escrow account. You pay into this every month, along with your mortgage payments. The money in your escrow account covers things like insurance premiums and property taxes.

Now that you know what to expect, take the time to review your rights and the rest of the steps you'll need to take. Closing on a new property is exciting, but it's important to slow down and make sure you do it correctly.

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