there - but there are still important tasks you have to complete before
There's a lot to do in the weeks leading up to the closing so good organization
is a must. Proper scheduling can reduce your stress and prevent any
mistakes or delays.
Create a schedule of the items you need to complete before closing.
Set up a file with all of your purchase and closing related documentation
so you have it readily available.
A comprehensive home inspection is a must for any responsible homebuyer.
A proper inspection should help uncover any defects in the home - before
you move in and get hit with unexpected repair costs. Depending upon
your location and the age of the home you may need additional inspections
as well - radon, termite, septic, etc. Your attorney (if you are using
one) and realtor can help guide you through this process, so draw on
Your lender will probably hire the appraiser, but you need to make
sure it gets done on time. A satisfactory appraisal is essential to
obtaining your mortgage commitment and moving toward closing.
Make sure that any contingencies specified in the contract are satisfied.
If the seller is required to make repairs prior to closing, schedule
a walk-through to insure that they are properly completed - and don't
hesitate to have your home inspector review the work if you are uncomfortable
making the determination yourself.
Your lender should issue a mortgage commitment shortly after the property
is appraised (assuming the appraised value is adequate). Contact your
mortgage representative to make sure things are proceeding as expected.
Don't wait until the last minute - if there is a problem you want to
find out as soon as possible.
You'll need a survey of the property. Contact the last surveyor who
worked on the site and make arrangements at least 2-3 weeks before the
closing date. If you are using an attorney, he or she may arrange to
get the survey, so check and make sure before you order one as well.
It is essential to make sure that the title insurance is ready for closing
day. The title company will need to do a search on the property to uncover
any potential problems with the transfer. Make sure to leave enough
time before closing, not only for the search, but to deal with any problems
that surface. If any title problems arise, don't panic - usually these
issues can be resolved fairly quickly. If you are using an attorney,
he or she will probably arrange for the title work to be done.
Your Purchase Funds
You'll need to have certified funds available to cover the purchase
price and closing costs, so now
is the time to cash out investments or make other arrangements to free
up the cash. Your attorney can help you determine the total amount you'll
need to bring to the closing.
You'll need a binder from your insurance company to verify that you
have properly insured the home - otherwise you may not be able to close
on your mortgage.
Ready for Moving Day
You probably want to move in right after the closing (you'll have to
if you're selling your old home the same day), so now is the time to
start preparing. You need to hire a mover (unless you plan to handle
the move yourself) and start packing your possessions. It's also time
to make arrangements for utility shutoffs and installations - our utility
checklist can help you organize these tasks.
The final walk-through should be conducted the day of or before the
closing. The walkthrough allows you to confirm that the house is ready
and that any required repairs have been completed. If you're buying
a new home the walk-through also gives you a chance to identify any
items that have not been satisfactorily completed.
to this page since March 30, 2004