What happens at the "closing"?
UPDATED: May 2, 2012
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The closing is the meeting between the buyer and the seller, at which time all remaining documents relating to the sale are signed. The deed to the house is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Title insurance is paid, the mortgage papers are signed by the buyer, and possible transfer taxes are paid to the state. In addition, the buyer will pay the seller for any miscellaneous expenses, such as appliances or furniture that had been previously agreed upon, the remaining oil in the oil tank, or any real estate taxes that the seller had prepaid.
Often the closing is held through an "escrow" and with a title company. There is a written statement of charges to be approved by both parties and there is title insurance covering the deed and any loan.