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Settlement Basics

Explanation of Closing Costs

Confused by all the terminology? Your Settlement Statement (HUD-1) is simplified with this interactive graphic.

HUD form

What is a real estate settlement?

In real estate terms, settlement is the final step in the home buying process whereby ownership of real property is transferred from seller to buyer. The closing itself takes about one hour during which numerous documents are explained and signed, funds are received and disbursed, last minute questions on the condition of the property and operation of systems are answered and the keys are delivered.

Why do I need a settlement company?

Besides conducting the closing itself, a settlement company performs a variety of services when a home is purchased or refinanced. From the time of “title order” through the recordation of all necessary documents with the county land records, a settlement company insures that the terms and conditions of the contract of sale and/or instructions from the lender are followed—and even corrected if necessary.