After getting through the whole process of the real estate transaction, you find yourself reviewing and signing your closing documents. A sometimes giant stack of papers with words (so many words!) that you don't understand, and also, you don't even read.
"What does this one say?"
"Oh, it just says you're selling your house."
"Ok, where do I sign?"
The one document that gets the most eyeballs on it is the HUD-1 settlement statement. It has all the numbers, all the fees, taxes, commissions, purchase price, financing fees, title costs, etc, it's all there, black and white, plain as day. Questions I've heard about this document:
"Why am I paying for this item twice?"
"Why is this the amount of the tax proration?"
"What's this buyer fee doing in my seller column?"
"Where's the broker credit?"
Some answers I've heard:
"The lender requires it this way."
"We didn't get the authorization until a week ago, so it's not on the HUD."
"It's a tax proration based on a 360 day year and the due date of the taxing authority paid in arrears."
The best advice I can give is to take some time to review your closing package before you sit down to sign everything. Ask all the questions you need to understand all the numbers and the promises you're making to the title company, the mortgage company and the other party. And yes, read all the fine print yourself (and send your attorney a copy to read).
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