The process includes the following:
Scheduling a close date
Once a transaction is clear to close, the title agent works with the lender and borrower to pick a convenient closing date. The agency (or settlement agent) works with an in-house or external notary service to schedule a meeting with the borrower at their desired location. Escrow officers may or may not be present. At States Title, we use a third-party notary service for scheduling and do not include escrow officers.
The notary meets with the borrower(s) in an escrow office or another convenient location. The borrower signs all necessary documents in the closing package.’ This package can reach 100-150 pages for a refinance transaction.
Post-closing: Funding, disbursement, recording
Once the closing package is signed, it is returned to the agency and lender for review. For refis (except investment properties), the borrower has three days to change or cancel the transaction. This is known as a “right to rescission.”
Funding and disbursement
Once any rights to rescission have expired, the lender wires funds to the escrow account. Funds are then disbursed to the relevant stakeholders, and any payoffs, borrower proceeds, fees, or outstanding taxes are paid.
A portion of the closing package is sent to the county recording office, where the documents are ”made official” by being recorded in the county or local jurisdiction recorder’s office. Recording can occur before or after fund disbursement, depending on the state. Many counties accept eRecording, while some still require ink-signed originals.