Checklist: 10 to-dos for buyers closing on a house

March 19, 2024

The home you’ve been dreaming of is about to become yours. Breeze through closing day with this step-by-step checklist.

When it comes to the home-buying process, closing day is the big finale – the day the house officially becomes yours. At this point, you’ve already completed the home inspection and appraisal. You’ve also submitted your financials to your lender and received the their approval to schedule the loan closing.

But before you celebrate, there are still a few “I’s” to dot, “T’s” to cross, and a little – OK, a lot – of paperwork to sign. Here’s a step-by-step checklist of how to prepare for closing day.

 

Before your closing appointment 

Closing is typically set for 30 to 45 days after your offer is accepted. This gives you time to prepare. 

1. Clear your schedule: Plan to spend at least two hours at closing. You don’t want to rush through the paperwork for what may be one of the biggest purchases of your life.

2. Do a final walk-through: This is your opportunity to view the property one more time before closing to make sure the home is still in good condition. You'll also want to double check that any last-minute repairs you’ve negotiated with the seller have been made. Schedule the walk-through a few hours or up to a few days before closing.

3. Review the closing disclosure: By law, a lender must provide the buyer with a closing disclosure at least three business days before the closing. Take time to review the document, as it spells out your loan terms, projected monthly payments, fees and other costs you’ll pay at closing.

4. Gather the necessary documents: The closing agent will have all the necessary paperwork ready for closing. Your job is to provide proof of identification. You – and anyone who may be purchasing the home with you – need to prove you are who you say you are. This can be done with a driver’s license or passport.

5. Stop by the bank: If you plan to pay for your home by a cashier’s check you’ll need to stop by the bank. Remember to bring the exact check amount, the recipient’s name and your photo ID. You can also arrange to send a wire transfer to the title company or escrow agent. The final check amount may include fees for the underwriter, appraisal, home inspection, title search and loan origination. On average, a buyer should expect to pay two to five percent of the home’s value in closing costs.

 

At the closing appointment

The day has finally arrived, and you’ve set aside enough time to enjoy the experience. Here's what you can expect at the closing meeting.

6. Meet the team: In addition to your real estate agent, other people will be present at closing. They can include the seller, the seller's agent, escrow/closing agent, an attorney, a representative from the title company and the mortgage lender.

7. Ask questions: Take your time, make sure you understand what you’re signing and don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. When is my first mortgage payment due? Where do I send my payment? What happens if I’m late on a payment? No question is too simple.

8. Sign the papers: This is it – the moment you’ve been waiting for! At closing, you’ll sign the paperwork that officially allows you to call the home yours. Make sure to read every document put in front of you. The documents will vary depending on where you live and the specifics of your home, but generally, they include the closing disclosure, promissory note, mortgage or deed of trust, and warranty deed or title.

 

After the appointment

Load up the moving truck, because the house is officially yours.

9. Celebrate: Whether this is your first home or last home, buying a house is a big achievement and a major life milestone. Go ahead and celebrate and enjoy your next adventure!

10. Find a safe place to keep the closing documents: After all is said and done, you’ll likely have to refer to your closing documents on occasion. Keep them stored in a safe place, such as a fire- and water-proof safe, where they’ll be easily accessible.

 

Learn more about how to navigate the home buying process.

Related content

8 steps to take before you buy a home

Checklist: 6 to-dos for after a move

What’s the difference between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

Changes in credit reporting and what it means for homebuyers

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Finding the right home loan for you

The lowdown on 6 myths about buying a home

Tips for realtors to help clients get their homeownership goals back on track

3 tips for saving money when moving to a new home

Pros and cons of a personal line credit

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

What are conforming loan limits and why are they increasing

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

How do I prequalify for a mortgage?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: 3 Key steps in the homebuying process

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Buying or renting – What’s right for you?

6 questions to ask before buying a new home

Quiz: How prepared are you to buy a home?

What to know when buying a home with your significant other

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How does your credit score impact the homebuying experience?

Are professional movers worth the cost?

First-time homebuyer’s guide to getting a mortgage

How I did it: Bought my dream home using equity

Get more home for your money with these tips

Saving for a down payment: Where should I keep my money?

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

How I did it: Built living spaces to support my family

Community activist achieves dream of homeownership

Bringing economic opportunity to underserved communities one home at a time

Overcoming high interest rates: Getting your homeownership goals back on track

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house

Home buying myths: Realities of owning a home

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

Know your debt-to-income ratio

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Prequalification or pre-approval – What do I need?

How you can take advantage of low mortgage rates

Buying a home Q&A: What made three homeowners fall in love with their new home

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Military homeownership: Your guide to resources, financing and more

Preparing for homeownership: A guide for LGBTQ+ homebuyers

Disclosures

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.