New home closing regulations go into effect Saturday

Forms now require three-day wait before home closing

A new set of regulations that threaten to slow down South Florida's vibrant home sales market went into effect Saturday. 

On October 3, a new form called the closing disclosure replaces the truth in lending and H.U.D. forms previously used. The closing disclosure form must be filled out three days before closing on a home; if anything on the form needs to be changed, the filing is delayed another three days.

Another change is that Realtors, lenders and title companies will be communicating via an Internet portal so closing times will not be as precise. 

"The days of 'OK, we are going to see you in the office at 11:30 for your closing' are probably over," said real estate attorney Joe Balocco. "It is going to be more like 'you are closing on the 30th, block out the day and we will call you when we have everything from the bank.'" 

Realtors have been learning about the new rules in seminars for months, but they will still take some time to get used to. 

"It is going to be a learning curve for all of us," said realtor Liz Caldwell. "My understanding is that cash transactions will not be effected by this. There is going to be a little bit of a mad rush trying to get a closing between now and December." 

Services that usually are purchased just before a closing will have to be procured when a buyer puts in an offer.

"They could potentially purchase services that if they cancel the deal as a result of inspections etcetera that they are not going to be using," said Balocco. 

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