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The Steps Involved in Closing a Real Estate Transaction in Virginia


It does not matter whether you are buying a new home for your family, an investment property, or a commercial property for a new business venture, buying real estate is exciting — the start of a new chapter. 


However thrilling it may be, these transactions can also be overwhelming and even a bit scary. Knowing what to expect can help. 


Below is an overview of all the steps involved in closing a real estate transaction in Virginia. 


Signing the Contract


Signing the initial contract is the very first step in buying real estate. It shows that the seller has agreed to sell the property to the buyer for a specific amount. This is usually signed and a good faith deposit, also known as an earnest deposit, is provided. Both are given to the chosen title company. 


In Virginia, the buyer usually chooses the title company, but this is always negotiable. 


The Title Search


The title search is an up-close look at the property’s history. It is the opportunity for the title company to verify that the seller has legal authority to sell the property. But the title search doesn’t stop there. It goes back decades with a careful look at all public records relating to the subject property, such as prior deeds, mortgages, liens, judgments, assessments, bankruptcies, divorce settlements, wills, and so forth. 


Any debts that are owed against the property, including property taxes, will need to be taken care of before the closing or as a condition. 


All requirements and instructions pertaining to the sale will be reviewed to ensure everything properly lines up for the closing. 


Closing Day


There is a lot involved in preparing for the closing. Many documents have to be prepared, reviewed for accuracy, and organized for the big day. Although they will vary based on each specific transaction, a few of the most common include: 


  • The promissory note

  • Mortgage document

  • Deed

  • Disclosures

  • Acknowledgments

  • Affidavits

  • IRS forms

  • First payment letter


On the actual closing day, you can expect to either meet at your title company’s office, or pay to have a mobile notary meet you at a convenient time and place selected by you. This is when you will sign many documents if you are the buyer. Not only does it include the title documents to transfer the property rights to you but also the many loan documents from the lender, too. 


After the documents are signed and the settlement agent confirms that all conditions have been met, the money will be transferred directly to the seller. 


This concludes the settlement. 


Post-Closing Actions


While all the parties may be done with the transaction, there are still a few things that need to be taken care of. For instance, just because you sign documents at closing doesn’t mean that others know that you are the official owner. 


Documents concerning the loan and the property ownership need to be recorded by the appropriate records department at the local courthouse. What’s more, any title insurance policies will need to be issued, and signed original documents will need to be sent to the lender. 


Title companies always follow a transaction until it is completed. 


Have a Successful Real Estate Closing at Republic Title


At Republic Title, we have a streamlined process to carry our clients smoothly through the process — from contract through closing. Then, we handle everything post-closing on your behalf to ensure a documented and legal transfer. 


Want to learn more? Contact us today at (703) 916-1800.

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