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Closing on a Home in New York

If you have finally found your dream home in New York and have successfully negotiated the purchase contract, you are just one step away from home ownership. The final step for a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction is the closing. Although the closing process is similar in all states, there are some differences as well. Understanding what to expect from your New York real estate closing can help you better prepare for the big day.

A New York real estate closing can be quite a production. Much of this reflects the fact that New York homes for sale are often some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Consequently, the amount of money changing hands at a closing in New York is often significant, even for a relatively modest home. As a result, closing costs in New York are among the highest in the country. For example, average closing costs on a $200,000 loan in New York for 2012 run $5,435. Exactly who pays these costs will depend on the terms of the contract you negotiated for the purchase of the home. The lender fee, attorney fees, and title search and insurance fees are among the more expensive costs incurred when closing on a home in New York. One thing that drives up the closing costs in New York is the number of attorneys typically present at a closing. Although anyone involved in a closing has a right to bring an attorney with them in any state, it is more common in New York than in other states. Both the buyer and the seller, as well as the lender, usually have legal counsel present at the closing.
At a New York closing, the buyer is usually required to be present to sign all the necessary loan documents; however, a seller may elect to sign all of his or her required paperwork ahead of time and allow an attorney to represent them at the closing. In rare circumstances, a buyer may be represented by someone else pursuant to a Power of Attorney.

While each closing is unique, there are some common forms and documents that will be used at a closing in New York, including the following:

• Truth in Lending Statement—a form required by the federal government that shows you what the true cost of financing your home
• HUD Statement—a form required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development if the buyer is using a conventional mortgage which lists the amounts paid and received by the buyer and seller
• Closing Statement—a statement that shows exactly how the money was applied at the closing
• Mortgage Note—the document the buyer signs representing the promise to repay a loan if financing the home

As a general rule, the documents needed for closing on New York homes for sale will be prepared by the appropriate attorney. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, you will have the opportunity to review these forms prior to the day of closing. Along with the documents you have reviewed, you may also be required to bring other documents or forms to the closing. Most importantly, you will likely need to bring certified or cashier checks that represent your share of the closing costs. Again, you should know ahead of time exactly how much the checks should be written for and to whom they should be made out to.

Taking the time to understand the New York closing process and preparing appropriately should make the entire process run much smoother when the day arrives.