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Buying a home in New York? What you should know about 'closing'

You've finally bought that dream house in the competitive New York market. Congratulations!

Well, it isn't quite yours yet. The current owners have accepted your offer, but there are many more hurdles to clear before the keys wind up in your hands.

A variety of things will have to happen first, and they include a successful home inspection or agreement with the sellers on repairs, an appraisal, loan approval, the execution of documents, the purchase of homeowners insurance and a walk-through to make sure all repairs have been made, things work appropriately and the sellers have removed all of their possessions.

All are big steps, but they are just the preamble to the most important part of the homebuying process: the closing.

At the closing, the deed will be transferred to you, and you will be a homeowner.

On average, it will take 41 days from the date the contract was executed to the time you get the keys. That's because 32 percent of the transactions likely will have a delay, often because of financing issues.

When those hurdles finally have been cleared, just what can you expect at closing?

First of all, you'll be turning over funds for the home inspection, homeowners insurance and a variety of miscellaneous costs, such as the appraisal fee. On the average, at closing, you will pay 3 percent to 4 percent of the home's cost. A few days before the deal closes, you'll receive a disclosure form that details all of the closing costs.

You also should receive in advance a checklist of everything you need to bring to the closing table. That list includes a photo identification, any outstanding documents and a certified check for the upfront fees that are due. You also will sign paperwork that includes the mortgage note that assures your promise to repay the loan.

In New York, an attorney is part of your team. Your attorney can review the purchase agreement contract and will make sure the closing documents are properly executed.

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