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The 11 Steps to Closing on Your New Home
Searching for homes for sale is the fun part, the below steps to closing on your new home will help you avoid any costly mistakes in your home purchase. It it is important to be familiar with the steps that are involved in the closing process of the transaction – this way you will know what to expect, and should things start to go wrong you can steer them right.
The Steps To Closing
- Have Your Agent Write the Purchase Agreement – The purchase agreement is the document that lays out the details of the offer. The purchase agreement is a legally binding document and lays out the price you will be paying for the property as well as the length of time for inspections, the closing date, financing options and more. Once all parities sign the purchase agreement, any changes to that document must be made by an addendum to the contract – and also signed by all parties. The top real estate agents are very skilled at drafting these documents as they are the glue that hold the entire real estate transaction together.
- Choose a Title Company – A title company, sometimes called a closing company, plays the roll of facilitating the real estate transaction. They will be the “middle man” between the buyer, the seller, the lender who is financing the home and the insurance company. They will also complete a title search on the property to insure that the home is able to be sold. Lastly, they will take the money from the lender (at closing) and will disperse the funds to all of the appropriate parties.
- Get a Professional to do a Home Inspection. When you write your offer, you will will have a pre-determined time frame for completing any inspections that you choose. This inspection period lets you dig a little deeper to make sure the home has no major defects. They will be looking for things like insect infestations and mold. They will also do an overall inspection of the home to ensure that it is solid. If you are buying a waterfront home, you will want to check the bulkhead. If the inspections reveal that there are underlying issues, this is the time to negotiate on the price. Just because a home is listed “as is” does not mean that the seller cant (or wont) make repairs. In lieu of repairs, you can also ask for a direct reduction of the sales price.
Review Condo Docs – If you are purchasing a condo, you will want to review your condo documents. The condominium documents go into great detail on how the condo association is run as well as how much the condo association has in reserves and other critical documentation.
- Order the Appraisal – Almost all real estate transactions are predicated upon the home being purchased appraising at the sales price or higher. The appraisal is generally ordered by the lender. The appraisers job is to find the true value of the home and to protect you from overpaying for the property.
- Get Insurance Quotes – You will want to price out homeowners insurance for your new home. Depending on the area, you also may be required to obtain flood insurance. Once you get the best prices, make sure to provide your title company with the insurance companies you have chosen.
- Get Documents To Your Lender – This is one of the most important aspects of buying your new home. We can not stress enough that you need to get your lender ALL of the information they request in a timely manor. In some instances, they may even request documents that you feel to be sill — but get them the documents anyway!
- Remove any other Contingencies. When your agent wrote the offer, the purchase of the home was most likely contingent on several things – getting an affordable interest rate, no problems revealed by the inspection, the seller disclosing any problems with the home, repairs and so on. All these contingencies must be removed or met prior to closing.
- Review Closing Sheet or HUD – Based off of the recent changes implemented by the CFPB, you should receive your final closing statement at least 3 days prior to the Act of Sale. This gives you some time to review all of the final closing numbers. These should be the exact same number that you will see the day of the closing. The closing sheet will also tell you how much money you will be required to bring to the closing table. Make sure that you get certified funds as most title companies will not accept personal checks.
- Final Walk Through – The day before (or possibly the day of the closing) you should complete a final walk through. This lets you make sure that the property is in the same condition as when you made the offer. In some instances, you may also be verifying that work was completed from the property inspection.
- Show Up For The Closing! This is the final day! Show up a few minuets early and be sure to bring a state ID. Sign the papers and get the keys to your new home!
All that you have to do now is to move into your new home. Don’t forget to change the locks! Congratulations!