Buying a house is a process that culminates in closing — the stage where you actually gain possession of the house. However, the process is not over before you get the title to the house. Some mishaps can still derail your property purchase. Here are a few things you should do to ensure a smooth closing process.
Clear All Contingencies
Contingencies are conditions that each side must fulfill before the ownership of the property can change hands. An unfulfilled contingency can derail your home purchase plans. Ensure all the contingencies in the purchase contract are clear before closing.
Say you had a repair contingency that required the seller to fix a leaking roof. Confirm that the seller has fixed the roof before you take possession of the house. You might have a hard time getting the seller to execute the repair after the closing.
Review Closing Disclosure
The closing disclosure is a document, typically five pages, that contains the final details of your mortgage. The disclosure contains details like interest rates, monthly payments, and all fees or charges.
The financier will give you the closing disclosure when you are about to close the purchase deal. Review the closing disclosure to confirm that it contains your agreement without any deviation or error. Signing the disclosure means you have agreed to the mortgage's terms and conditions, even if they are not what you agreed to during the negotiations.
Gather All Documents
You also need to go through your documents and confirm you have everything. Here are some of the documents you need:
- Your agreement with the lender
- The closing disclosure
- Mortgage note (your mortgage repayment promise)
- The escrow statement
The list above is not exhaustive. State laws, the type of your mortgage, and the nature of your agreement with the lender might determine the exact documents you need. You can confirm your list with a real estate agent.
Conduct a Final Walkthrough
Lastly, you also need to conduct a final walkthrough in the house. The final walkthrough is just that — walking through the house to confirm that everything is as it should be. Apart from a visual inspection of the house, you also need to test appliances to confirm their functionality. You don't want to buy a house only to learn that the heating system is not working, and you forgot to test it beforehand.
Hopefully, your home purchase process will proceed without any serious mishaps. Using a real estate agent can help you ensure that is the case. For more information about any part of the buying process, speak with a buyer's real estate agent.