After successfully navigating the process of securing a mortgage loan, locating the perfect home and having your offer accepted, it most certainly will feel like you’re giving birth to something new.
Now, you can start dreaming about swaddling the windows in lovely drapes, feeding times around that new outdoor fire pit and long lullabies and restful sleep in that dreamy master bedroom. But there’s a benchmark you have to get through first, and it may cause some growing pains. Here’s what to expect when you’re expecting a closing.
Expect to ask the expert: In this case, it’s the real estate agent who represents you (not the seller’s agent). Schedule some time to meet him or her in person or on the phone and have them talk you through what’s next. It will help ease your mind and help their work go smoothly in the time leading up to the big day.
Expect to insure yourself: The closing cannot go forward if you haven’t taken out and paid for home insurance and title insurance. While most mortgage lenders require title insurance, and many states require owner’s title insurance, you have the freedom to pick the title insurance company. If you haven’t done so, make this a priority. If you have, make sure you have all the paperwork—you’ll need it all on closing day.
Expect to take a walk: This is also must-do. Schedule a minimum of 30 minutes for a final walk-through of the home with your real estate agent. Take one final close look at the property, looking for discrepancies or problems you might have missed before, rather than planning where to put the couch. Also, do the walk-through 24-48 hours prior to closing day rather than just before, because if you do notice problems, you’ll need time to resolve them.
Expect to come prepared: On closing day, you and your representatives and the other party and their representatives will meet at the closing agent’s office. Expect the process to take up to two hours and be ready to sign plenty of important documents. You will need cashier’s checks for the down payment and closing costs. Federal law requires that you’ll be briefed on the amount beforehand. Also, be sure to bring a valid ID—it must match the name you’re using on the documents—and a personal checkbook for any miscellaneous costs.
Once the paperwork is signed and the checks are handed over, it’s time to get the keys to your new home! Be sure to set aside a safe, secure place for your precious cargo of all those documents, or consider a safe deposit box. Now that you know what to expect when you’re expecting a closing, you’ve given birth to something pretty amazing: a new home for you and your family. Congratulations! It’s been an incredible journey, a long time in coming and it’s time, as they say, to put that baby to rest.