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Let's Talk: Closing the Deal; Getting the Keys

The Truth on the Closing Experience

Written By: Sonja Gushiniere

Greetings, readers, and welcome back! Thank you for your real estate and business emails.

We will try and tackle some of the topics over the next few months. Last month, we touched on what you need to get in a position to buy. We will “peek” at the first-time homebuyer’s Real Estate Closing Experience for this month’s topic. Let’s Talk: How to get those Keys!

So you found your dream house. Now what? Well, that team I mentioned last issue: Realtor, Home Inspector, Attorney, Insurance Professional–It’s time to bring your entire lineup out!!! Try and keep up as we touch on the closing experience, but everyone’s experience differs, so remember, this is just a peek at the closing table. Let’s Talk!

Now we have to get to and through the closing experience–this is where you get keys. Here we go! Finding your dream house is half the battle.

Step 1 – OFFER

Realtor presents the seller an offer. The offer is what you are willing to pay. The offer is where you attach your Earnest Money Check. Generally, $500-$1500, but it can be more.

After the offer is accepted, time becomes critical. Everything has a time attached. Inspection period, attorney review period, etc., but your team will review the specifics with you.


Next up is the inspection. After the offer is accepted, you may now schedule your inspection. The purpose of an inspection is to get a peek into the property’s past, current, and future conditions. I like inspectors that give balance, providing quality information without personal criticism. This payment is the next check you write, ranging anywhere from $300-$500 more or less depending on the type and size of the property.

Home inspections are highly recommended. They can provide expert maintenance advice and tell you the age, working condition, and estimated lifespan of the major arteries in your house, like the HVAC, roofing, windows, etc., giving you an idea of when they might need replacement. The inspector can also provide maintenance information. Great information to know and to have! If you need to stain or paint your wood siding and deck regularly, caulk your windows periodically, re-tuckpoint your bricks, clean your gutters and inspect your roof.


If you decide to proceed, The lender will order the appraisal. The appraisal is essential for so many reasons, but I’ll share a couple. It determines the current market value of the property. Your lender will not allow you to finance above this value. Also, if the value comes in higher than the accepted offer, the seller still cannot change the agreed-upon amount, and this amount becomes your equity. The appraisal becomes the next check you write, ranging from $300-$650, depending on the property type.


The attorney will review documents as provided thru each phase. Contract, Inspection Report, Title, Closing Statement (Itemizes all the costs involved), etc. Attorney fees will range from $400-$550. Most attorneys will send this fee to the closing table for payment, so you may not have to write a check ahead.


Time to sit at the closing table. The attorneys of both the seller and the buyer will arrange a closing date, generally held at a Title Company. At the closing, essential items you will need:

  • Proof of Insurance - Homeowners Insurance – A Mandatory Basic Lenders Policy is required at closing when financing a home. This basic policy will cover damages to your house and personal property. However, Supplemental Insurance is needed to cover floods, earthquakes, sewer back-up, and other valuable items at potential risk.

  • Cashier’s Check – Some fees are due at the time of service, and some are sent to the closing table for payment. These are fees listed in your closing statement. Once credits and deductions are calculated, including the loan funds, you pay the balance at closing in the form of a cashier’s check. Personal checks are not usually acceptable. So do not show up with a personal check! Your lender and attorney will advise the amount needed.

Step 6 - Keys in hand!

Now, the best part, my favorite part.…Keys! Nothing compares to the light in a client’s “eyes” when they see those keys slide across the closing table. From the seller’s side to the buyer–now homeowner’s side. The sign of all your hardwork paying off!

As always, I hope you found something useful. Let’s Talk soon! I encourage you to send your Real Estate and Business questions and topics to discuss at

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