This post provides useful information on attending a residential real estate closing in Illinois.

Once the Lender issues a Clear to Close on your loan, the closing date and time can be scheduled. Under new TRID regulations, the closing must be at least 3 business days after you receive your final Closing Disclosure.

Closing Location

Most closings are held at title insurance companies. However, in some situations the closing will be held at an attorney’s office or real estate agent’s office for convenience.  I would recommend showing up about 10 minutes early.

What to Bring –  Buyers

Each Buyer will need to bring a valid photo ID. In most cases, Buyers will need to be “cash” to closing. Below are a few basic rules for bringing “cash” to closing:

  1. Oddly enough, although the documents call for “cash”, no cash is actually allowed.
  2. If the amount you need to bring to closing is less than $500.00, then you may bring a personal check.
  3. If the amount you need to bring to closing is greater than $500.00 but less than $50,000.00, then you will need to bring a cashier’s check.
  4. If the amount you need to bring to closing is greater than $50,000.00, then you will need to have the funds wired.

Quick note on wire transfers. Contact the title insurance company directly to obtain the company’s wiring instructions. You will take those wiring instructions to your bank, and the bank will setup and initiate the wire transfer to the title insurance company’s escrow account.  If the closing is before 11:00 am, you will need to initiate the wire transfer the day before the closing.  Wires typically take a few hours to process and complete.  I have sat at many closings waiting for wires to hit as they were initiated that morning.

What to Bring – Sellers

Each Seller will need to bring a valid photo ID. If the Sellers have to bring money to closing, they should follow the guidelines set forth above.  The Sellers should also bring the following:

  1. All Keys (house, shed and mailbox), garage door openers and other access devices (fobs, cards, etc…).
  2. All warranties and manuals.

People at Closing

The following is a list of the possible people in attendance:

  1. Buyers – lenders do not allow Buyers to pre-sign documents and bring them to closing.  Buyers must attend closing and sign the loan documents in front of the Closer.
  2. Sellers- it is not uncommon for Sellers to give “power of attorney” to their lawyer and not attend the closing.
  3. Loan Officers – if their schedules permit, loan officers may attend the closing. Personally, I like when the loan officer is in attendance, it tends to make the closing go smoother.
  4. Listing Agents – real estate agent who represents the Seller.
  5. Selling Agents – real estate agent who represents the Buyer.
  6. Closer – this person works for the title insurance company. The Closer is responsible for working with the Lender to collect funds, process paperwork, and disburse funds.
  7. Attorneys – In Illinois, most Buyers and Sellers are represented by attorneys.


Based on my experience, the average residential real estate closing (with financing) takes between 60-90 minutes.  In recent weeks, I have been at a closing that took 40 minutes and a closing that took 3 1/4 hours.

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