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Residential Real Estate Buyers

When does the buyer get the keys after closing on an Illinois home?

By July 8, 2021August 15th, 2023No Comments

You’ve saved the money, you’ve picked out the house, you’ve applied for the loan, and the day has finally come: the closing.

Your documents are in order, you have your final payments ready, and you take the step to walk into the room to finish the job.

But now the question is — are you going to get the keys today?

In this blog, our team of McHenry, Illinois real estate attorneys at Diamond Real Estate Law will discuss what to expect at the closing, and when you can expect to finally get the keys to your new home.

The closing process in Illinois

The entire process of buying a home takes longer than most people think, and it doesn’t move any more quickly just because you’re closer to the finish line.

To get to that point, here’s an idea of what to expect on closing day:

  • Preparing for the closing:
    • Make sure to bring the rest of the money that you owe — i.e., the down payment and closing costs. (Closing costs can include home appraisal fees, escrow fees, certifications, property taxes, title fees, lender fees, etc.). 
      • If you are getting a loan, your lender usually provides you with the final amount you need to bring. 
      • If you are paying cash, the title company or your lawyer will be able to tell you what this amount is.
      • If you have to bring more than $50,000 you will need to wire your funds to the title company before the closing.

NOTE: Wire Fraud is a big problem! It is very important to get the wiring instructions directly from the title company and double verify that they are correct. There are many fraud scams where a criminal emails you fake wiring instructions and steals your money. When in doubt, verify the wire instructions over the phone with the title company.

    • A final walk through of the property to make sure all the agreed upon repairs are completed, the Seller is completely moved out and that the property is in substantially the same condition as when you first wrote the offer. If any issues come up on the walk through, it is best to get in contact with your attorney right away so they can work on resolving the issues prior to the closing.
  • The process at the title company (when you are getting a loan or mortgage to purchase your new home):
    • As you walk into the closing room a person called the closer will usually ask you for a photo ID and sometimes a secondary form of identification. They need this in order to notarize all of your signatures., 
    • As you approach the table you will usually see two stacks of documents on your side of the table. A large stack which I jokingly call the big phone book and a little stack of papers which I jokingly call the little phone book.  The big phone book is your loan documents and the little phone book is the title and conveyance documents from the Seller and the title company.
    • The closer will usually point your attorney to the documents that need to be signed right away. These are usually called the “funding documents”. They are documents that your lender needs to see signed before they will authorize the title company to complete the closing (commonly called funding).
    • Once you have signed the “funding documents” you will usually sign the rest of the big phone book.
    • Next, you will usually sign the little phone book.
    • As you are singing all the documents, your lawyer will usually review them with you and verify that they are correct and that you understand what you are signing.
    • If your lender did not wire the money to the title company ahead of time, you sometimes have to wait for your lender’s money to hit the title company’s bank account.
    • Once the title company has all the money and your lender approves all the documents (commonly called funding approval or authorization) your closing is complete and you get your keys.

Note: If your new home has a keypad on the garage, don’t forget to get the code from the Seller. Also, make sure you get all the right keys. Sellers sometimes accidentally forget keys like mailbox keys.

In Illinois, this closing process at the title company usually takes anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. 

With a real estate attorney at your side, they will be able to guide you through the process and help you deal with any unanticipated surprises.

Contact Diamond Real Estate Law today

Are you ready to get started buying a home? Our McHenry, Illinois attorneys are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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