What Do I Need to Bring to the Closing?

What do I need to bring to my real estate closing?

What do I need to bring to my real estate closing?

If you’re buying or selling  a house or a condo in Massachusetts you’re probably wondering what you need to bring to the closing.

The real estate “closing” is sometimes referred to as “passing papers” – and no wonder – if there’s a mortgage involved there’ll be a lot of papers getting passed around the table.  Nowadays, selling a house or condo in Massachusetts involves a great deal of paperwork.  So come to the closing table with a limber wrist – you’ll be signing your name over and over.  Here’s what else you need:

What Do I Need to Bring to the Closing When I’m Buying a House or Condo in Massachusetts?

Photo ID – you’ll need a photo ID – usually a driver’s license or passport.  It’s not a bad idea to bring a second form of ID since every so often a lender asks for a 2nd form of identification

A Bank Check – Unless you’ve arranged in advance to wire the funds you need for the closing you’ll need to get a bank check (aka a treasurer’s check) for the money you need.  This is not the same as a personal check from your checkbook. 

Your attorney or her paralegal will tell you the amount you need a day or so before the closing.  Ask how the bank should make out the check – typically you’ll be asked to have the bank make it out to you.  At the closing you’ll sign the check over to the lender.

Your Checkbook – It’s not uncommon to need to write a small check at the closing – perhaps an adjustment is made on the settlement statement, a charge has been omitted, or the amount of your bank check was estimated. More and more often people aren’t carrying a checkbook so be sure to bring yours with you.

Your attorney or lender may require you to bring something else but these are the must-haves at every closing.

What Do I Need to Bring to the Closing When I’m Selling a Condominium or House in Massachusetts?

Your job as seller is much easier at the closing – you’ve only a few documents to sign.  Here’s what you’ll need to bring:

Photo ID – a driver’s license or passport

Your Checkbook – Usually you’re getting the check, not writing one, when you’re selling your property. But just in case some small adjustment needs to be made it’s a good idea to have a check or your checkbook with you at the closing.

The Keys – You’ll be passing along the keys to the new owners.  Don’t forget the mailbox key and the garage door clicker (or leave them in the house or condo).

Ask your attorney if there’s anything else you’re required to bring.

Categories: Buyer Info, Seller Info
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Flood Insurance Freeze

Over the RiverSeems like flooding’s been on everybody’s mind lately with all the rain we had in Massachusetts.  Coincidentally, there’s a freeze in the flood insurance program right now.

Most flood insurance policies are issued through the National Flood Insurance program since private coverage is often exorbitant. The  NFIP was up for renewal at the end of March but Congress went on recess on March 26th without renewing the program.  The program is on hiatus and no new policies can be issued before Congress extends the program after reconvening on April 12th.

Real estate buyers who are closing on a home or refinancing a property that requires flood insurance won’t be able to obtain coverage until the program is reintated.  No insurance – no closing. 

The City of Cambridge website has more information about the recent redrawing of floodplain maps in Cambridge.

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Cambridge Registry of Deeds – Middlesex South Registry of Deeds

Cambridge Registry of Deeds

Cambridge Registry of Deeds

The Middlesex South Registry of Deeds – what we often call the Cambridge Registry of Deeds – is located in East Cambridge on Cambridge Street between Second and Third Streets.  It’s hard to miss with its enormous red brick columns.

The plaque out front describes the Registry as “One of the finest Neo-Classical buildings in Massachusetts, especially noted for its colossal brick columns.”  The building was designed in 1898 by Boston architect Olin B. Cutter.

In remarks at the dedication on November 13, 1900, Samuel K. Hamilton described the building:

“Viewed from any point of the compass, it presents a building imposing in size, symmetrical in proportion, and beautiful in architecture.”

The interior is beautiful as well but sorry – no photos. Nowadays you have to empty your pockets, go through a metal detector, and leave your camera in the car in order to enter the building.  The building also houses the Middlesex Probate Court so gets quite busy.

If you’re visiting the Cambridge Registry of Deeds for your real estate closing you’ll want to take the elevator or one of the two grand staircases to the second floor. Real estate closings take place under the rotunda in the open area that looks quite a bit like a food court.  Recently a room adjacent to the area where documents are recorded was refurbished to provide additional space for closings.  It’s called the Closing Room or the Settlement Room and – happily – it’s air conditioned – something we all appreciate in July or August.

Documents recorded at the Registry since the mid-1980s are available online.  If you’re interested in researching the early history of your house you’ll want to visit the Registry in person.  The Registry’s holdings include deeds and mortgage documents dating back to the mid-1600s.

The Middlesex South District Registry of Deeds serves Acton, Arlington, Ashby, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Boxborough, Burlington, Cambridge, Concord, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Malden, Marlboro, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Newton, North Reading, Pepperell, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Somerville, Stoneham, Stow, Sudbury, Townsend, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Weston, Winchester and Woburn.

The Cambridge Registry of Deeds is located at 208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02141 just one block from the Lechmere T station. Open Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Office hours for recording – 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 pm.

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