Tuesday, July 21, 2009


By David McCarthy

Seller and buyer perform the promises they made to each other in their contract for the purchase and sale of the property. Buyer pays seller the purchase price. Seller conveys the property to buyer by delivering a deed for the real estate and a bill of sale for the personal property.

Those activities are basic to any real estate closing. Other action may be required at the closing, and some promises are typically performed prior to the closing. The contract, which must be written to be binding, serves as a "to do" list.

Buyers often obtain a mortgage loan to help pay the purchase price. In such cases there is not only a "closing" on the sale between buyer and seller, but also a "closing" on the loan between buyer and lender. The lender pays money to the seller on behalf of the buyer.

The buyer gives the lender a promissory note and mortgage. The note is buyer's promise to repay the loan. The mortgage grants the lender a lien interest in the real estate that can be foreclosed on in case buyer does not repay the loan. Real estate sales so often close at the office of a title insurance company because they so often involve a mortgage loan. The title insurance company serves as an agent of the lender in such cases.

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