If you have bought one of the many amazing Boston condos in Back Bay, Beacon Hill or Midtown and are scheduled to close soon, you’ll be happy to hear that research commissioned by the Washington Post in April 2017 indicates Boston is one of a few dozen American housing markets where condominium values are increasing faster than single-family residences.

The good news for first-time buyers and those who have not sat through a real estate closing in recent years is that the process these days is just a formality. New laws, rules, and oversight have transformed the home buying experience into a transparent deal that leaves no room for unpleasant surprises. Nonetheless, each closing situation is unique, which means you should keep the following things in mind.

1. You Will Need to Present ID

A closing is a legal transaction certified by a notary public who will need to confirm your identification. Be sure to bring your driver’s license or passport.

2. You Will Be Joining an Association

When you arrive at the closing table, you should have already reviewed the seller’s disclosures explaining certain legal aspects of living in a condominium. It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a condo owner and member of a homeowners’ association (HOA). If you have questions about what this entails, be sure to ask your real estate agent or attorney prior to the closing.

3. Need to Bring Money to the Closing Table

Your real estate agent, mortgage company representative, or title agent will let you know in advance whether you need to bring money to the table. If a mortgage is involved, a processor or title agent will give you instructions as to what you should pay for and the method to follow, which in MA often involves placing the money in escrow and releasing it with a signature on the closing day.

4. You Must Disclose Your Civil Status

If you are going through a divorce, consult your attorney about how you should proceed. A planned condo purchase is something the court should know about, particularly if you and your spouse are considering a legal separation prior to divorce or in lieu of a marriage dissolution. The last thing you want to do is misrepresent your civil status.

5. You Can Place the Property in a Trust

Placing real estate in a trust is a strategy suitable for estate planning, asset protection, and privacy. If you wish to place your Boston condo unit into a trust you have previously established, notify the trustee about the closing, and consult with an attorney to make sure the property is transferred as it should be.

6. You Will Have an Opportunity to Ask Questions

There is a good chance many people will be attending the closing. Some will represent you while others may represent the mortgage lender, the seller, and the homeowners association. These individuals will likely have answers to your questions, so have a few prepared and feel free to ask.

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