A closing statement is an accounting, in writing, prepared at the close of escrow which sets forth the charges and credits of your account. The items shown on the statement will reflect the purchase price, the funds deposited or credited to your account, payoffs on existing encumbrances and/or liens, the costs for all services and a determination of the funds you are entitled to at the close of the escrow. When you receive your closing papers, review the closing statement; it is extremely logical and reflects the financial aspects of your transaction. If anything does not make sense to you, you should ask your escrow officer for an explanation.
Review your closing papers carefully for accuracy (there may even be a refund check hiding in there.) Your closing statement and all other escrow papers should be kept for income tax purposes. In addition, your accountant will need the information about the sale or purchase of the property. IRS and other agencies may require you to prove your costs and/or profit on the sale of any property. The closing statement will assist in this task.
Do not rely on your escrow holder retaining the escrow file so that you can “always call and get copies of the closing statement.” Some escrow holders may destroy files after the statutory retention period, usually five years, because maintaining and storing the closed files is costly. A nominal fee may be charged by your escrow holder for the retrieval of a file from storage, photocopying the requested documents and returning the file to storage.