Reaching the closing table is like hearing the two minute warning in the fourth quarter at the Super Bowl— you’ve come this far; all you’ve got left to do is run the ball into the end zone.
Itching to be in your new space sooner rather than later? Keep reading because we’ll let you in on everything you ever wanted to know about what to expect when you reach the closing table.
Prior to closing
Review your loan documents
Theoretically, closing day should come and go relatively pain free, but that’s not to say some folks have had a less than pleasant experience. Make sure to stay in close contact with your loan officer in the weeks prior to closing day. I’ve heard stories of buyers forgetting about crucial documents causing their closing to come to a screeching halt; staying in touch with your loan officer as the time draws near will prevent that snafu from happening.
If you’re uber ambitious, you might consider gathering up all your questions and loan documents and requesting a sit down meeting with your lender. This allows you to ensure everything that was agreed upon is clearly spelled out in the documents you’ll be signing. A minor detail like your interest rate being slightly off will have to be sent back to the lender for revision. Catching these indiscretions sooner, rather than later, won’t hold you up come closing day.
The point to remember here is that it ain’t over till it’s over, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch and get so distracted with thinking about what furniture you want to buy that you forget the important stuff.
Do a final walkthrough
Typically, you’re allowed to conduct a final walkthrough 24 hours prior to closing. Don’t skip this step. Verify the home is fully vacated and everything is in compliance with what was agreed upon in the contract. Take this time to follow up on any items red-flagged during the inspection process and make sure those were taken care of.
Bring these items to closing
Better break out your trapper keeper because you’re going to be hauling a boat load of paperwork to your closing meeting. Gather your homeowners insurance, home inspection reports, anything the bank specified you’d need to have your loan approved, copy of your contract with the seller, photo ID, and last, but certainly not least, your down payment.
Be sure to ask your lender whether or not they prefer you to wire the down payment or pay via cashiers check. A simple check from your checkbook won’t cut it for this purchase. But don’t leave the checkbook at home— you’ll likely need it for other small fees you’ll need to cover.
At the closing table
Thought the closing table was going to be an intimate gathering between you and the seller? Think again—the closing table is often more crowded than your Aunt Becky’s Thanksgiving table. You can expect everyone from the seller, seller’s agent, attorneys, title company representative, lender and closing agent.
Pack a little patience for the day and be prepared for Murphy’s Law to creep in. Most likely, you’ll have a pleasant experience and soon hold the keys to your new home, but closings are complicated, and a little patience and prep goes a long way towards getting out unscathed.