North Carolina Real Estate Closing Process: A Guide

A man with a turquoise ring signing some paperwork.

Finally: all the work is complete, the dues paid, and you get to unlock the door to your new home with a smile. That’s right: it’s closing day.

However,  with so many involved parties, closing on a real estate transaction in North Carolina can get pretty tricky. Luckily, we’re here to help guide you through it.

Beginning the North Carolina Real Estate Closing Process

First, the buyer makes an offer to the seller. The seller then reviews the offer with their real estate agent and attorney. If any negotiations are required, the respective real estate agents will handle them. If the seller accepts the buyer’s offer, the buyer’s earnest money is transferred to the seller’s broker’s account.

Next, a sales contract is signed by the buyer and seller and the deposit is transferred over to the escrow agent. Now, the lender will order an appraisal of the home to ensure that it is valued appropriately. In addition, the escrow agent will likely begin a title order. All paperwork and records relating to the state of the house are also ordered, as is a title inspection.

Appraisal & Inspection

Once the home is appraised and the lender deems the value appropriate, a property inspection will be ordered by the buyer. This ensures that nothing is wrong with the property that would prevent the buyer from wanting to purchase it.

If any issues with the property arise, the buyer can negotiate with the seller to have them resolved.

Title Search

To ensure that the home’s title is viable, the title insurance agency performs thorough title search. This research typically includes any deeds, paving assessments, mortgages, liens, wills, and other documents relating to the property’s ownership.

During this search, the title insurance agency will determine if there are any debts owed against the property.

Other Requests & Inspections

Once the appraisal, inspection, and title search are complete, there are a number of other requests and surveys that may be ordered by the buyer. These include:

  • Residential property disclosure
  • Termite Inspection
  • Boundary surveys

Buyer & Seller Fees

Buying (and selling) real estate can be expensive. Before the buyer and seller can close on their transaction, there are a number of different fees that both parties must pay.

The buyer is typically responsible for:

  • Home inspection and survey fees
  • A share of the yearly property taxes
  • Any attorney fees relating to the title inspection
  • All insurance fees including title, hazard, and homeowners insurance
  • A fee to record the new deed of the home
  • Funds to open an escrow account with the lender for property taxes and insurance

While the seller is required to pay:

  • Attorney fees
  • Taxes based on the sales price of their property
  • Real estate commission
  • A prorated share of property taxes
  • Any bank fees associated with the loan payoff

Insurance & Closing Day

Once the inspections and surveys are complete, the buyer is responsible for purchasing title and hazard insurance. The buyer and seller then negotiate to transfer over the utilities.

Next, the real estate agents organize the formal closing process. Here’s how it goes:

  1. An escrow agent will oversee the closing at the buyer’s attorney’s office.
  2. The buyer provides their agent with funds to pay for the closing and signs all necessary paperwork.
  3. The buyer’s attorney records the new deed at the courthouse.
  4. The escrow agent will use the escrow funds to pay off any remaining mortgage and other closing costs. The remaining funds are then sent to the seller.

For a More Seamless Closing Day…

Call a reputable North Carolina title insurance agency like Tryon Title. Give us a call today with any questions you may have about purchasing title insurance in NC.