The real estate closing process in Florida customarily follows a series of steps. As a result, even the simplest transaction can take between 30-45 days to close.
Once the buyer and seller of a property have agreed to an offer, it is drafted in writing, signed by the buyer and seller, and an initial escrow deposit is made by the buyer.
After the escrow deposit is made, the buyer’s lender or real estate agent (depended on whether the transaction is a cash sale or being financed) will send a request for title to a closing attorney chosen by the buyer.
The closing attorney will then process the file by ordering documents such as tax information, loan payoff statements, and inspection reports. At the same time, the attorney will order a title search from an insurance underwriter. This searches any documents in public record that may affect the title of the house such as deeds, liens, or divorce settlements.
If everything is clear after reviewing the documents, the closing attorney will verify that the “seller” is the legal owner of the property and will make note of any debts owed.
The attorney will then prepare all of the closing documents, such as a HUD Form 1, if a RESPA transaction, or a Closing Statement, a Warranty Deed, and any Affidavits that may be needed for clearing title. These documents may go through several drafts and revisions, but they will be approved by the buyer and seller well in advance of the actual closing.
Finally, a date and time is scheduled for both parties to show up and sign the closing documents, this process also maybe done electronically. After this is complete, the transaction will disburse, and certain documents will be sent to the county in which the property is located to be recorded.
Does this process sound a little confusing?
It is. That is why it is important to find a real estate attorney to help move the process along in an efficient manner.