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A closing (or a settlement) is the final step in executing a real estate transaction. The closing date is set during the negotiation phase, and is usually several weeks after the offer is formally accepted. On the closing date, the parties consummate the purchase contract, and ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer. In most jurisdiction ownership is officially transferred when a deed from the seller is delivered to the buyer.

Things that happen during a closing include:

  • The buyer (or his/he bank) delivers a check (generally a wire transfer for the balance owed on the purchase price).
  • The seller signs the deed over to the buyer, and delivers the property keys.
  • A title company, lawyer or notary registers the new deed with the local land registry office.
  • The seller receives a check or bank transfer for the proceeds of the sale, less closing costs and mortgagee payouts.