connie vallone

Helping Buyers and Sellers Understand the New Closing Process

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on December 14, 2015 at 7:39 pm

The new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, also known as “TRID,” is the start of a new chapter for residential real estate.  With all the documentation the clients need to provide, review and sign along the way (not to mention prepping for their big move), it’s understandable if they feel overwhelmed. That’s where you can help offer them reassurance and bring order to the chaos.

The new TRID closing begins well before the actual meeting, when the final documents are signed and keys change hands. If your buyer gets prequalified for a mortgage, they will get a prequalification letter and likely will not get the new loan estimate at that time. Some lenders may choose to do a preliminary loan estimate, though it is not required with a mortgage prequalification. Once an actual offer is made and accepted, the buyer will make Application for a mortgage and the buyer’s lender will create a Loan Estimate in line with the terms and conditions related to the financing of the pending transaction*.

The title search is still as important now as it was pre-TRID.  Be sure to share with your clients the results of their title search – even if no problems exist. It is good to reassure them that things are moving along and on the right path.  If any issues do arise, though, your communication with all parties involved will be even more critical to cure any title discrepancies. These might include a lien against the property, illegal deeds, forgery, boundary/survey disputes or missing heirs, among other issues.

Assuming all goes well with inspections and other aspects of the process, the new TILA-RESPA requirements require a new form to the process called the Closing Disclosure**. The new Closing Disclosure looks a lot like the Loan Estimate, and this is by design to assure the consumer has an easier overall process understanding their transaction from start to finish. The Closing Disclosure now replaces the old HUD-1.

In the new TRID world, however, the borrower must receive their Closing Disclosure three days prior to closing  to give ample time to review the documents (legal public holidays and Sundays don’t count in that timeframe). Make sure your client understands what each line item represents and that special attention is paid to closing terms and fees. Also, make sure your clients are aware of the exact amount needed for Closing if funds are required at closing.

Under the new rules, there are only three changes that require a new three-day review and could impact the closing date. They are: the APR increasing by more than 1/8 of a percent for fixed-rate loans, or ¼ of a percent for adjustable-rate loans; a prepayment penalty is added; or the basic loan product changes. So be sure your clients are firm on their offer and mortgage terms as the closing date approaches.  Any other changes outside of those listed will not require a new three-day review period, but an updated Closing Disclosure must be provided which could cause a delay with the lender so be sure to be in constant contact with the lender to know what may cause a delay in their process.

In addition to the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure, there may also be an additional document called the Settlement Statement. This document will outline all the money flows of who paid for what, including agent commissions and loan fees. The Closing Disclosure is just that–a disclosure, and it does not account for all the funds in the transaction and the charges and credits to the buyer and the seller involved. The Settlement Statement will serve this purpose and assure all the funds are properly accounted for all parties involved.

By communicating each step of the closing process and setting expectations with all parties early on, you play an integral role in helping the transaction end in a successful closing.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at (713) 249-4177  or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com

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