Real Estate Documents

A Guide to Some Real Estate Documents

Many homebuyers are puzzled by the all paperwork at the real estate closing or settlement. In addition to the mortgage papers, here is a brief summary of some of the other documents that may be involved:

The deed, which transfers ownership of real estate, contains the names of the buyer and seller and a legal description of the property sold.

The closing statement contains a summary of the amounts paid and received by the buyer, seller and third parties, as well as possible adjustments for the down payment, taxes, and utilities, and other items.

A judgment affidavit states that the buyer or seller has no judgments, warrants, bankruptcies, or incompetency proceedings against him or her.

An assumption statement and escrow assignments are used if the mortgage is being assumed. The statement shows the balance of the mortgage principal and escrow account. The assignment transfers the insurance and tax escrow from the seller to the buyer.

The HUD Form 1 Disclosure Settlement Statement, which is required by Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, contains all of the actual settlement costs and amounts.

A mortgage discharge or satisfaction, filed with the county clerk, removes the lien of the seller’s mortgage.

A title search, or abstract, is a historical digest of every document that has been recorded concerning a particular piece of property, including deeds, easements, mortgages, rights-of-way, oil and gas leases, bankruptcies, estate proceedings, tax liens and judgments.

A survey is a blueprint drawn by a licensed surveyor showing the measurements, boundaries and area of the property, as well as fences, driveways, streams and all buildings.

IRS Form W-9 provides certain details pursuant to income tax regulations.
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