For a first-time homebuyer, finding your home is an exciting – and sometimes intimidating process. From looking at listings to putting in an offer, house hunting can often seem dramatic, and perhaps no moment seems more suspenseful than closing on your new home. Staying organized and prepared are key to having your closing run smoothly, here are a few tips to help make that happen.
#1 Do a Final Walk Through
A final walk through of the property you are buying should happen right in the days before closing. Usually, it is done the day before the closing is scheduled. The concept is you walk through the house to make sure it is in the condition you anticipated and includes the same features as has been stated, including any promised repairs. A final walk through also lets you make sure the previous tenants have fully moved out.
If things are amiss in your final walk through, let the sellers know about the discrepancy and take the time to make sure what you are getting is what you expected. If there are major changes, it’s important to catch them now, even if it postpones when you close on the deal. Sometimes if promised repairs haven’t been made, it is easier to request the repair expense from the seller rather than postpone the closing.
#2 Review Your Closing Disclosure
Before you close, your lender will send you a document called a “closing disclosure”. Although the name sounds nearly redundant, the closing disclosure is important for you to read through and make sure you understand before going into closing. This includes the amount of your loan and the loan terms as well as the final closing cost. There may be other fees outlined in the closing disclosure that you are also accountable for at closing.
Read through this information carefully and sign it if it is correct. Your lender will need this document returned to them at least three days before closing occurs to make sure your mortgage paperwork can be signed.
#3 Do a Little Homework
If you want to be extra thorough, you can also read through all of the closing paperwork before the big day. Reading through the forms you will be signing beforehand lets you get a full grasp on what you are signing without feeling rushed. You can double check for any errors or mistakes or clear up any questions beforehand.
Although it seems daunting, always read through completely the paperwork you are signing – you will be accountable for it, after all! If you are reading the closing paperwork ahead of time, don’t sign anything yet – that will all happen when you close.
#4 Come Prepared
Come to your closing well rested and ready to give your signature a workout. Be sure to bring a cashier’s check for any closing costs the closing disclosure listed. Also, you’re going to need at least one form of official ID, like a passport.
Although buying a home can feel like a monumental accomplishment, the closing may feel understated. You’ll be going through the paperwork with the seller and agents, signing off on your agreement and mortgage.
If you didn’t get the paperwork early to read through, you’ll want to read your contracts now as you sign them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get things clarified. Closings take a little time, and it is important to know what you’re getting into.
#5 Have an Attorney Present
There will be many people present at a closing. You, the seller, the lender, a title company that provides proof of ownership, a closing agent, the seller’s agent and the seller’s attorney. It is optional, but highly recommended for you to have an attorney present who works solely in your interest. An attorney will help you review documents and oversee the sale you are making.
Your attorney will be able to help you assess that you are getting the deal you think you are. It is important to have someone in your corner who fully understands the procedure and law around real estate.
Fawn Ridge Realty
Still nervous about buying a home? Don’t be! Fawn Ridge Realty can help make the process a pleasure, from finding the right listings to getting the best deals. We specialize in gorgeous properties around the beautiful Lake Carroll area. If you are in the market for the home of your dreams, it is time to give us a call!