Closing for Sellers!
Legal Closing is interpreted as: “Conveyance of title from seller to buyer and the proceeds dispersed to the seller”. In Washington State, closing is considered the day that the deed is recorded in the buyers’ names and the proceeds are paid to the seller. When they can take legal possession of the property depends upon the terms or conditions of the contract.
Different state handle closing procedures in different ways. In Washington, buyers and sellers sign at separate times, typically two to three days prior to the stated closing date. Closings are predominately handled by escrow companies, although some prefer to use attorneys.
Prior to signing, the escrow company will set an appointment with you to come in and sign documents. It can be done at their office or your home. They will also give you the total amount of funds you will receive. These funds are usually dispersed in the form of a certified or cashiers check or can be wired to your designated bank. The closing broker (escrow) will then process the paperwork and send to the King County Courthouse the appropriate documents. Once the courthouse has processed and assigned recording numbers, they will notify escrow who will place a call to all parties that the transaction has recorded.
As far as possession is concerned, this can get very vague and confusing when it really shouldn’t be. Legal possession can only occur when the deed is recorded and funds disbursed. The gray area is what time of day is this going to occur. 9am? Noon? 2pm? To protect everyone’s interest, this specification can be mentioned on the purchase and sale agreement. If nothing has been agreed upon, 9pm is the legal possession time.