“The More Things Change” Department

Once upon a time, when I started selling real estate in 2002, the worksheet that Buyers and Sellers signed at closing was simply known as . . . the settlement statement (or just the closing worksheet, to avoid any jargon).

Then it became the “HUD-1” (HUD stands for “Housing and Urban Development,” the federal agency — soon to be led by Ben Carson — that oversees the form).

Most recently, it morphed into the “ALTA” (short for “American Land Title Association”).

All of which leaves veterans such as myself referring to the form, once again, as “the settlement statement.”

Format Tweaks

Does the name matter?

Not really.

While there have been modest changes in format along the way, the constants remain a summary first page, followed by a second page that breaks out expenses.

For Sellers, the key items to track are the Sales price; any Seller-paid’s; commission; closing fees; transfer taxes; and pro rata adjustments for property taxes.

For Buyers, it’s the Sales price; any Seller-paid’s; earnest money and down payment; any mortgage-related fees (origination, underwriting, appraisal, etc.); closing fees; and pro rata adjustments for property taxes.

As a rule of thumb, at least in Minnesota, Buyers should plan on earmarking about 2.75% of the purchase price for closing costs and pre-paid’s such as insurance.

Don’t worry — your Realtor and closer will walk you through it . . .

See also, “Dress Code for Home Closings.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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