How to Secure the House-Closing Process

The house-closing process has many moving parts. That’s why real estate professionals must ensure the security of this process.

How to Secure the House-Closing Process

The house-closing process has many moving parts. That’s why real estate professionals must ensure the security of this process.

Written by:

Matt Kilmartin

Read time:

3 minutes

Category:

Real Estate

Date:

May 24, 2022

Deciding to sell a home can be both stressful and exciting. 

However, whether a seller is moving to a new location, upgrading, downsizing, or just investing, the closing process will always be the final step. 

As any real estate professional can attest, the closing process is a multi-phased process that orchestrates the financial, legal, and administrative transfer of the home from the seller to the buyer. 

In other words, there are many moving parts, key players, and emotions from the buyer and seller that can make the process complex, not to mention the growing risk of wire transfer fraud and other forms of business email compromise (BEC). Without the right tools, the house-closing process can be complicated.

This article will walk through some of the key steps in the house-closing process and detail how escrow agents, real estate professionals, and title companies can keep it running smoothly and securely.

Mortgage payoff fraud is on the rise, with the average mortgage payoff amount  totaling more than $200K. It’s imperative to be prepared. Get our guide to  protecting your business from mortgage payoff fraud.

The house-closing process: A seller’s perspective 

Also known as a settlement, the house-closing process can vary in length based on many factors, but generally includes two main parts:

  • Completing the mortgage application process and funding requirements.
  • Completing the required title research and legal transfer processes.

Although there are many steps involved in the process — and plenty of forms — much of it happens behind the scenes, completed by real estate and legal professionals who represent the buyer and the seller. 

However, here are some of the key steps that the seller will be involved in:

  • Finalizing the home purchase contract, including the price, timeline, seller’s disclosure, and other closing terms, such as the financing and selection of a real estate attorney and title server.
  • Completing the home inspection and remediating any issues, if applicable.
  • Agreeing to the removal of contractual contingencies.
  • Confirming the completion of the title search.
  • Providing account information to handle the mortgage payoff and proceeds from the sale.
  • Providing the required cash to close or related concessions.
  • Completing the legal and financial paperwork during closing.

What to watch out for during the house-closing process

With realtors and other real estate professionals guiding the closing process, it can be easy for a seller to feel OK with taking a back seat. However, given the importance of the transaction and the growing threat of fraud surrounding the home-buying process, sellers still need to keep an eye on some key milestones.

Here are some of the most important key points to watch out for to ensure the process runs smoothly and securely:

  • That the buyer has completed the necessary financial paperwork and is on track to receive approvals from their lender.
  • That the terms of the sale, timelines, or buyer behaviors seem normal. If they change or seem unusual, this could be an early sign of one of many forms of mortgage fraud, including fraud for housing, fraud for profit, or mortgage payoff fraud.
  • That the closing agent or title company has the necessary cybersecurity controls in place, including two-factor authentication for enterprise applications and a platform to securely collect wire transfer account information.

Bring it all together.

Selling a home is a milestone, often marking the beginning of a new chapter. It’s also one of the biggest financial transactions a person can make. That’s why buyers turn toward trusted professionals to guide them through the home-buying process.

So whether you’re thinking about selling your home or searching for the right professionals to facilitate your home sale, make sure your closing agents are using industry-leading best practices and tools to fight back against the growing threat of fraud.

Want to learn more about avoiding the crosshairs of tomorrow’s fraudsters? Then download one of our latest resources, Mortgage Payoffs Under Siege.

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Matt Kilmartin

VP of Sales

Matt has over a decade of experience bringing disruptive Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to market in the automotive, MarTech, and real estate industries. He excels in high-growth tech companies with a passion for building and leading sales teams that deliver a memorable, consultative experience to prospective clients.

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