The day you found your home was an important one. The day you chose to purchase the home was also a big day.
But the closing day is arguably the most crucial date in the homebuying process. That’s when you sign your closing documents and make things official.
That’s not necessarily when you get your keys and begin moving into the home, though. All of that happens on your funding date. And while closing and funding can happen on the same day, they don’t always.
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Funding date vs closing date: What’s the difference?
Your closing day is when you’ll sign all your loan documents. It’s a lengthy list that may include (but is not limited to):
- Final closing disclosure
- Promissory note
- Acknowledgement of employment
- Mortgage insurance disclosure
- Escrow disclosure
“The home closing date refers to the date when all the documents have been officially verified and signed between you and the lender. The deed to the home is recorded, and you can finally proceed to close the deal as the buyer,” said Martin Orefice, founder of Rent To Own Labs in Orlando.
Your funding date is when your mortgage lender disburses (pays out) funds to your title company or escrow account, allowing the home to be purchased. And that isn’t always the same day as your closing.
“Your funding date can be the same day as your closing date,” but can also be up to a few days later, says Cherrelle Gee Curry, a Realtor with EXP Realty in Raleigh, N.C. “It’s important to know when your funding date is because you’ll be responsible for the interest on the loan accumulated from the funding date and beyond – not the closing date.”
The interest Curry referred to includes a daily interest charge that your lender assesses between your funding date and your first loan payment.
But your funding date can also happen after your closing, especially if closing (signing) takes place, say, late afternoon on a Friday and the loan proceeds haven’t been transferred yet.
Banks and lenders can only transfer funds up to a certain time of day. And, they have to verify that the signing agent had you sign every one of the dozens of signature lines on the loan documents.
Plus, the lender must verify that there are no missing items, like an updated pay stub.
If the lender misses the cutoff, the loan has to fund the next day.
|Closing date vs funding date: Closing date is when you sign loan documents to finalize the deal. Funding date is when your mortgage lender disburses funds to the title or escrow company.|
Keep in mind that not everyone in all regions have the same name for things. The difference between funding date vs closing date can be subtle.
Real estate professionals in some states may refer to your signing day as “closing.” In other states, “closing” might mean “funding.”
To keep things simple, you may want to refer to the date on which you sign final loan documents as “signing” and the date that the lender issues funds as “funding.”
This leaves little room for confusion, since “closing” means one thing to some people and another thing to others.
Once your loan is funded and all the deed and ownership details are recorded with the county, you have the right to receive the keys to your new home. Recording can take a few hours, and since local government offices are typically only open on business days, a late closing just before a weekend could mean a delay in getting your keys.
“It’s ideal to receive your keys on the day of closing. But sometimes this may not be possible,” Curry said. “If your lender doesn’t release the funding number until the next day, your attorney may hold your keys until then. If you close later in the evening or on a Friday after the county building or courthouse has closed where the documents have been recorded, you may have to wait until the next day or even the following Monday to get your keys due to the property not being officially recorded.”
Remember that the home is not officially yours until the county or local authority “records” the ownership transfer. Recording simply means it’s placed in the official county record.
Ask your real estate agent when you can expect to receive your keys. They should be able to give you an answer based on the timing of your closing and the local records’ office’s schedule. But your lender will be able to tell you what your funding date will be.
You may get some say in when your closing happens, so aim for a morning, if you have the choice. That increases the chance that the deed will be recorded and the loan will be funded the same day you close.
The mortgage funding process involves several steps, according to Taylor:
- Final loan documents are approved by the lender
- The lender wires funds to the escrow company
- The deed/title and mortgage/deed of trust are recorded, and ownership is transferred to the buyer
- Funds are distributed to the seller
These steps are all out of your hands, as they’re handled by your lender and the settlement agent who’s managing the closing. The settlement agent can also be called an escrow officer, escrow agent, or closing agent. In some states, the settlement agent must be an attorney.
Whatever they’re referred to where you live, the settlement agent is an independent third party (meaning they’re not acting on behalf of either the buyer or seller) who oversees the closing and final sale.
Prior to your closing date, you’ll receive your closing disclosure (often referred to as a “CD”), which includes detailed information about your loan: the total amount you’re borrowing, your interest rate and how much interest you will pay over the life of the loan, and your “costs to close” (more on those in a minute).
Your lender must send your closing disclosure at least three days before your closing date so that you have time to review the loan details and ask questions. If you decide you don’t want to buy the house after all or you’re uncomfortable with the terms, you still have the right to walk away from the sale at this point.
But keep in mind that you could lose your earnest money by not going through with the purchase at this point. You don’t have to take the loan, but the seller can keep your earnest month for walking away so late in the process.
Once you’ve signed final documents, you cannot cancel your loan. That changes if you took out a refinance loan, a home equity loan, or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). You may cancel the loan within three days after closing without penalty, for any reason on a refinance. This is called the “right of rescission.”
But if you are a homebuyer and you just purchased a home, you are locked into the loan after closing.
Costs to close include your down payment and your closing costs. After you receive your final disclosure and decide you want to move forward with the loan, call your attorney or settlement agent who is overseeing the sale and ask them where to wire your down payment and closing costs. You’ll send this money as a lump sum.
|Never wire funds based on information received via text or email. Call the settlement agent directly and have them tell you the name and address of the bank to which you should wire the money, as well as the account number.|
Wire fraud for mortgage is quite widespread, and scammers often target soon-to-be homeowners via legitimate-seeming emails. They will try to get you to wire funds to an illegitimate account. Once it’s wired, it’s gone. That’s why you want to call your settlement agent and get the information from them and them alone.
You may also be able to bring a cashier’s check to closing.
The last step on your end is the actual loan document signing process.
“On the closing date, you should expect to show up on time and in person at the signing table at a predetermined location, unless you make other arrangements with your attorney or the title company,” said Brian Mason, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Alexandria, Va. “Bring government-issued identification like a driver’s license. Be ready to review the paperwork and closing disclosures and ask any questions. You’ll sign the necessary documents in blue ink.”
You and your settlement agent will be present at the closing. Your real estate agent, the seller’s agent, and your loan officer can be there as well, though they are not required.
Any documents that transfer title or place a lien/mortgage against the home have to be recorded in public records and notarized.
“Your notary will ask you to sign the mortgage/deed of trust and will then notarize the signature. The seller must sign the deed transferring ownership, and the notary will notarize the deed,” Taylor said. “In some cases, the buyer and seller may be present at the same time at closing or meet separately with the notary.”
Once the loan “funds” (meaning the seller receives their money, also known as “disbursement”) and the transfer of ownership has been recorded, you, the new owner, are officially “on record.”
To learn what your funding date is, ask your loan officer.
With a home purchase, the funding date is typically the day of or the day after signing, says Mason. “This is usually based on how fast the title or escrow company and the lender balance all the numbers.”
Although your lender will determine the funding date, you can help keep things on track. Provide your loan officer any information they request and keep your finances stable.
“To obtain funding, you have to complete all the necessary paperwork as the borrower,” Mason added. “Your lender will verify that none of your income has changed and that your credit remains intact; once verified, the funding can occur.”
No big changes before funding day
A sudden change in your credit score because you opened a new card or charged several big-ticket items for the home can delay your closing, because it could change the terms of your loan. Likewise, changing jobs before you close can also push your closing back. Your lender can even deny you at this point because the information their underwriting department used to approve your loan application has now changed.
“I strongly recommend submitting required documents to your lender in a timely fashion,” Curry advised. “Also, don’t make drastic changes to your employment or open new accounts without first speaking to your lender. Additionally, continue to make wise spending decisions and pay your bills on time. That means waiting until after closing to purchase that new car, finance that new furniture, or make changes to your job.”
Your funding date can also depend on the details of your sales contract. For example, if you agreed to allow the seller to rent back the home or remain for a period after closing, or if you negotiated to have access to your home sooner so that you can move things in early, that can affect your funding date.
It’s wise to learn your funding date in advance and plan ahead. If your lease ends the day of your closing, prepare to wait a few days before moving into your new home. You may need to make arrangements to remain in your current home a few extra days, stay with family or friends, or book an Airbnb or hotel for a few nights before you can officially move in.
Funding date vs closing date FAQs
Funding and closing usually happen on the same day. But the funding date can occur one or more days after the closing date.
Your funding date is the date that your lender deposits your home loan proceeds into your escrow or title company’s account, allowing your home to be purchased. The funding date can occur on your closing date or possibly on the next business day.
Funded at close means funds will be disbursed at closing (signing) and your lender has submitted all of the required documents.
Take the time to learn the difference between closing date vs funding date and why these dates matter. Be ready to quickly provide any information or documents that your homebuying team requests to avoid delays.
Most importantly? Speak up if anything seems unclear as you near the closing and funding finish line. This is likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so be an advocate for yourself.
“At any point in the process, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you feel confused or uninformed,” Curry said. “Be patient and flexible as the closing and funding stages are completed.”
Some references sourced within this article have not been prepared by Fairway and are distributed for educational purposes only. The information is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not entirely represent the opinions of Fairway.