Buying a home is an exciting and terrifying moment. This seesaw ride of emotions often hits the low, or terrifying, end when we sit down to finalizing the transaction. The closing process involves a lot of paperwork. What is all this paperwork? Is it all important? What do we need to read?

This piece will provide some information to help better answer these questions.

#1: What is all this paperwork?

During the closing, the buyer is generally presented with the sale agreement, closing disclosure, promissory note and, if applicable, the mortgage application.

#2: Is it all important?

In short, unfortunately, yes, it is all important. These documents outline the details of the transaction. One provision could result in surprises in the future … and not the fun kind of surprises.

#3: What do we need to read?

Ideally, all of it. Portions that require specific attention include the rate and cost expectations outlined within the loan agreement and the titling of the property.

It may not be realistic to read it all. Fortunately, you have options. Because the paperwork is so voluminous, you can generally request a copy to review prior to the actual closing meeting. This provides you with more flexibility to review the information without the stress of other people in the room potentially rushing the meeting along.

You can also hire an attorney to represent your interests during the transaction. This can provide two benefits. First, the attorney can review the documents and help you to better understand what they mean. Second, the attorney can explain anything that might negatively affect your end of the deal and propose changes that will better protect your interests.