What Happens at Closing?
In many states, the property is officially transferred from the seller to you at "Closing" or "Funding". However, we have a slightly different timeline in Hawaii. Our "closing" process is several days long. Some people say "closing" and they really can mean any one of these three steps. It is always best to ask for the timeline of the process so everybody understands.
"Closing" In Hawaii for a Purchase Transaction
Signing -> Funding (next day) -> Recording (2-3 days after Funding)
Signing: This happens at the Escrow/ Title company office OR with a mobile notary at a location you choose. The signing process lasts about one hour, but can take longer. It involves signing all of the official loan documents, including the initial application, the Note, the Mortgage and the Deed. There is usually a nice little stack of paperwork to sign. The escrow agent or notary collects the documents, scans them in and sends most of them to the lender. They also send them the hard copies.
Funding: Once the lender has received notice that the buyer has signed, then then wire the funds from the loan to the Escrow company.
Recording: The Escrow company takes the signed Deed and Mortgage and "records" them with the county. On this day the ownership of the property is officially transferred from the seller to you and you get your keys to your home. On this day, escrow sends the funds to the respective parties (sends purchase funds to seller, pays the real estate agents and other third parties) and "settles" the transaction.