Time to Close! Follow These Tips for a Smooth Closing Day.
Congratulations! You’ve found your dream home, which is no easy feat with so many lovely choices on the North Texas real estate market, made it through the lender underwriting process, and received the clear to close! So, what’s next? We know Texas home buyers can start to feel a bit overwhelmed as closing day approaches. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to help you prepare and set the pace for a smooth closing.
Here’s What to Expect on Your Closing Day
There is a lot of paperwork that goes along with the closing process. The escrow company will have most of the documents ready to go. You’ll just need to sign them. As the home buyer, you will have a lot more paperwork to sign than the home seller. You can anticipate signing your name anywhere from ten to thirty times during the closing process. You’ll be signing mortgage documents, tax records, legal disclosures, and more.
Here are some specific things that happen on closing day:
The buyer (or the buyer’s lender) will provide a check for the amount owed toward the purchase price of the house.
The seller will sign the deed over to the buyer. This act officially transfers ownership to the buyer. The seller will turn over the keys, as well.
The title company (or in some cases a lawyer or notary) will register the new deed with the appropriate government office. This record will show the buyer as the new homeowner.
The seller will receive any proceeds they earned from the sale, once their mortgage balance and closing costs have been paid off.
When all the documents have been signed, and all funds have been appropriately distributed, the deed of ownership will be transferred from seller to buyer. This is when you become a homeowner. The seller will hand you the keys to your new house, and then you’re all done. This is the gist of what happens during a real estate closing. Let’s take a closer look at these events.
Tips to For a Smooth Closing
You want to minimize any surprises on closing day, after all, you’re almost to the finish line, and you don’t want to delay the process any longer.
Make sure all contingencies are taken care of.
Most purchase agreements have contingencies set in place that home buyers must do before the sale is official, these include a home appraisal ensuring the value of the home is accurate, home inspection showing the house doesn’t have any issues and the ability to back out of the sale if your mortgage falls through.
Obtain final mortgage approval.
Before closing, your home loan must go through an underwriting process. Underwriters are like real estate detectives; their purpose is to make sure you have represented yourself and your finances honestly, and that you haven’t made any false or inaccurate information on your loan application.
Examine your closing disclosure.
If you’re securing a loan, one of the best ways to prepare is to thoroughly review your closing disclosure, also known as a HUD-1 settlement statement. This official document outlines the exact amount of your mortgage payments, the loan’s terms, and closing costs. You’ll want to compare your closing disclosure to the loan estimate your lender gave you at the beginning. If you see any differences, ask your lender to explain them.
Perform a final walk-through.
Most sales contracts allow home buyers to do a walk-through of the home within 24 hours before closing. During this time, you want to make sure the prior homeowner has vacated (unless other arrangements have been made). You’re also ensuring the condition of the home is what was agreed upon in the contract. If the home inspection revealed problems the home sellers decided to take care of, you’d want to make sure all the repairs were made.
Bring all the required documentation for closing.
To avoid any delays, make sure you have the following before you head off to seal the deal:
• A copy of your contract with the seller
• Proof of homeowner’s insurance
• Your home inspection reports
• A government-issued photo ID
• Any paperwork the bank required to approve your loan